Essay Symbolism In Heart Of Darkness

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Every great author posses the ability to create a novel deeply woven in symbolism and subliminal messages. Underneath the literal journey encountered in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness lies a tale saturated with subtle, yet, significant imagery that brings forth the true meaning of the novella. Throughout Heart of Darkness Conrad uses a plethora of simple colors, objects, and places to convey multifaceted images and ideas. His fine execution of the tools of the English language allows him to quickly lure the reader aboard the Nellie and not release him until the horror is over. Although the interpretation of symbols in the Heart of Darkness is elaborate, due to their simplicity they
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“Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest.” (Conrad 59)
The action of travel upriver is another instance of the African environment trying to halt the progress of the whites while traveling downstream gives them a quick way out of the “darkness” and back to civilization. This alludes to Kurtz and his “choice of nightmares.”
"The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz's life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. …. I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of 'unsound method.'"(Conrad 109)
Drawing from the text the river may be concluded to be an image of a demon or a snake threatening all who it may entrap.
“A mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land.” (Conrad 22)
The life and times of Kurtz serve as a valuable lead into the evil
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