Portrayal of Light and Darkness through Characters in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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In the novella Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses many literary devices to create, for his readers, a vivid picture of what his definition of light and darkness really is. Conrad suggestively uses a technique whereas for every one character that portrays darkness there is an opposite character that portrays some extent of light. This technique can be explained in the form of comparison and contrast, for instance the “Harlequin” and the Manager. Though these two characters share few comparisons, their contrasts are one in a plenty. The Harlequins character is said to be a Russian man who has an eccentric taste in fashion, coining him the nickname Harlequin. He is also considered the character Kurtz’s “disciple”, because as a young boy…show more content…
Conrad’s very creepy way of vividly articulating the Manager, gives the inkling that he is indeed the darkness that the title exclaims. Though, these characters may seem to be the polar opposite of one another, they do share some defining qualities. Conrad depicts both characters displaying very bizarre behavior. The Managers character, as described previously, has a very cold disposition. He says very random and oddball things, that are not expected of a manager. The Harlequin displays behavior that is less on the cold side and more on the hyperactive side. He is the bubbly, bouncy character of the novella. Some may go as far to say retarded, due to his child-like nature. Another characteristic that they share is that they often tend to babble, but it is a different kind of babbling amongst them. The Manager just kind of talks out of the side of neck, meaning that his words have no meaning which never leads to a result. He loves to hear himself speak. The Harlequin babbles uncontrollably. He speaks on and on about Kurtz, and how great he is, to the character Marlowe. He chatters so much to the point that Marlowe uses him to gain information about Kurtz. Lastly, the traits that the two share are that they are both extremely obsessed with Kurtz. Though, the Harlequin’s obsession stems more from admiration, and the
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