Use of Light and Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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Use of Light and Darkness in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness contrasts light and darkness, to represent the civilized and uncivilized sides of the world. Conrad uses light to represent the civilized side of humanity while contrasting the dark with the uncivilized and savage. Throughout the thematic stages of the novel, that is the Thames river London, the company's office in Belgium, the journey to the "heart of darkness" and the conclusion, light and dark is used to represent these sides of humanity, but on a deeper level many assumptions of darkness and light are challenged, with the appearance of light and dark, and in turn good and evil contrasting with the reality. From the initial…show more content…
From the start of the novel, Conrad foreshadows Marlow journey into the "heart of darkness" through the use of light and darkness. Marlow's journey to the Belgium company's office, where he encounters two women knitting black wool. The two women are commonly interpreted of representing two of the three fates of Ancient Greek mythology who spun, wove and cut thread to represent the birth, lifespan and death of mortals. This darkness used perhaps foreshadows the evil he will encounter, something that merely fate may decide. Marlow describes the place as the "city that always makes me think of a whited supulchre", and the "city of the dead", thus, white in this instance is used to represent the exploitation of the company and the true evil, which is hiding behind the façade of light and progress. Therefore Conrad uses the civilized white to represent the evil of the "dead city" and the search for the "precious trickle of ivory". The map in the company's office, and the light and darkness associated with it again demonstrates and perhaps foreshadows the good and evil, and the civilized and uncivilized side of humanity. . He describes the map as being "marked with all the colors of a rainbow,"
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