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Revelations of Dark and Light in Heart of Darkness by Josephy Conrad

Decent Essays
Revelations of Dark and Light
In the book, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad we are introduced to the concept of light and dark as they relate to the people of Africa and the people of Europe. In the beginning of the book the intro gives an insight into the journey that the main character, Marlow, is about to embark on. Conrad symbolically introduces the sun setting on the river as Marlow enters the mouth of the Thames. Conrad reveals this allegory by indicating that Marlow is about to enter a dark place morally, and physically as a reference to the Negro people of Africa. Light and dark are used by Conrad to represent morality and immorality.
The story takes a step back to Marlow in Europe
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9).
The true purpose of the book is to reveal to the European people that Africa is being raped by the ivory traders. Kurtz, the villainous ivory hunter, is portrayed in a captivating manner due to his eloquence. Kurtz is a representation of all European ivory traders, specifically Belgium, who journey to Africa in hopes of striking it rich. Europeans come to take the ivory, but while there, they destroy the land and kill the people. Marlow then meets an accountant after arriving at his post in Africa. The accountant seems to be a representation of the trading companies due to the fact that he is an accountant and dressed immaculately in all white. The trading companies just like the accountant only care about the money being made off of the ivory. The accountant is dressed so perfectly, however is corrupt on the inside. Light and dark is used to emphasize the thoughts of Europeans who thought that the industry of bringing ivory back from Africa was a noble endeavor as stated in King Leopold II’s “The Sacred Mission of Civilization.” King Leopold II states, “But if, in view of this desirable spread of civilization, we count upon the means of action which confer upon us dominion and the sanction of right…our ultimate end is a work of peace” (pg.119). The need for dominance, but succumbing to monetary lusts is the same reason Kurtz is the exemplification
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