The Journey In “Heart Of Darkness” Spans Not Only The Capricious

1222 WordsMay 1, 20175 Pages
The journey in “Heart of Darkness” spans not only the capricious waters extending our physical world, but also the perplexing ocean which exists in the heart of man. Through Marlow 's somewhat overenthusiastic eyes, we perceive the mystery that is humanity, and the blurred line between darkness and light. It is an expedition into the deepest crevices of the human heart and mind bringing on an awareness, and finally descending into the abyss of hell abiding in each of us. Conrad’s use of wordplay and symbolism shows the reader that this journey is something much deeper. In “Heart of Darkness”, Joseph Conrad conveys the themes of darkness, duality, and imperialism through Marlow’s tale of his experience along the Congo River. To begin with,…show more content…
Savage. This is the dominant theme of duality because the white men in the story are supposed to be civil and the Africans are called savages, when in reality of the story, the white men are savages because of the way they treat the Africans. Next, there is Kurtz vs Marlow. Kurtz loses all morals to the wilderness though Marlow does not give into primitive lusts. Marlow is, however, tempted which is why he is haunted by Kurtz. Kurtz represents complete savagery, lack of darkness and strength, all things that Marlow is trying to withstand and comprehend. By examining Kurtz soul, he must examine his own soul as well. Lastly, there is Kurtz’ intended vs the tribal woman. The women of Kurtz life are opposite yet alike in their beauty and love for Kurtz. The intended is the symbol of light “all of the sad light of the cloudy evening took refuge on her forehead. This fair hair, this pale visage, this pure brow seemed surrounded by an ashy halo” (Conrad 1902, 112). On the contrary, the tribal woman is the symbol of primitive darkness. “Savage and superb; wild-eyed and magnificent there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress” (Conrad 1902, 157). The similarities are proven when Conrad writes “She put out her arms…stretching them back and with clasped pale hands across the fading and narrow sheen of the window…resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also…stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal

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