This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Heart Of Darkness Essay

696 words - 3 pages

Casey Lanier
Mrs. Harmon
AP English Literature
17th September, 2014
Heart of Darkness is a well-known book, full of irony and violence. But the main part of the book is about Marlow and his surroundings. Joseph Conrad reveals Marlow’s characteristics when he changes Marlow’s environment from civilized to barbaric, through the use of imagery, symbols, and the intensity of his diction.
Language and the diction of language is one of the most idealistic topics. Since Marlow is narrating most of the entire story, it’s styled to sound like a drawn out monologue. It’s stop and go with his story, while he remembers different topics and materials of his adventure. The long paragraphs are spoken, and read, without a pause for a breath to be taken. This causes the text itself to feel like its creating a difficult, and even imprisoning scenery. Marlow also throws in a lot of repetition, which causes a dark and frightening atmosphere. “Trees, Trees, ...view middle of the document...


Symbols are an enormous part of Heart of Darkness. One being part of the name: darkness. Darkness is apparent through the entire novella. It’s so important that it even has a place in the title to show. It’s actually quite difficult to find the exact meaning of darkness, because it takes over absolutely everything. But, metaphorically, darkness seems to evolve into a representation of the darkness hidden in every heart of every human being, quite specifically, Kurtz. He represents the darkness of mankind, and what happens to you if you allow it to fully control you. His exposures to the desolate regions of the Congo are the cause of Kurtz’s madness. With heads on sticks and other barbaric actions, he lost his hold on domestic ethics, that even his last words of “the horror, the horror!” show that he found the deepest amounts of darkness that there was to find.
Conrad knits together multiple images of both light and dark to help Marlow narrate his journey. But, the way light is thrown into the book isn’t to show the good in the world, but show the darkness that has over taken the light and has made it evil. Marlow straightforwardly states-“sunlight can be made to lie too” (152). Granted he’s talking about Kurtz’s fiancée, but the imagery combined with this shows the true meaning, that even in the brightest of times, and in the brightest of faces, you’ll always find manipulation of the light to make you believe that. Kurtz is neither light nor dark he - in a symbolic way, is the ‘white fog’. Both light and dark at the same time. In other words he is a devil with deceiving and unrestricted wickedness, which is being portrayed at some times, as a god.
In the end, Heart of Darkness is a book that shows the effects of surroundings on people perfectly. Conrad works in depth with imagery, symbols, and the intensity of his diction to make the story of Marlow and Kurtz so superb. Analytically, it’s easy to see his diction is set impeccably till the end, to give the book an entire new meaning with the simple words of Marlow: "'His last word -- to live with,' she murmured. ‘Don’t you understand I loved him -- I loved him -- I loved him!' I pulled myself together and spoke slowly. The last word he pronounced was -- your name."

Other Papers Like Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness Essay

1489 words - 6 pages Intro: Heart of Darkness is Joseph Conrad's most famous work, and written during the height of European imperialism in Africa, it has become a foundational work on the subject of colonialism. During his years as a sailor Conrad travelled up the river Congo on a steamship which provided him with the outline for this novella. Racism: Very early in the novella we are made aware that Marlow is not like the others – he is a full time

The Heart of Darkness Essay

789 words - 4 pages Heart of Darkness There are many themes that run through the novel Heart of Darkness. There are however two main and significant ones. These are the theme of restraint and man's journey into self. The importance of restraint is stressed throughout Heart of Darkness. In the novel Marlow is saved by restraint, while Kurtz is doomed by his lack of it. Marlow felt different about Africa before he went, because the

Heart of Darkness Essay

561 words - 3 pages To respond to question three, Conrad portrays the indigenous African people in many different ways that are all negative. He conveys the message that the Africans are savages and that Africa itself is a place of no order and no civilization. To begin, on page 17 of Heart of Darkness, Conrad has his protagonist Marlow describe the Africans in many inhumane ways. “Black shapes crouched, lay, sat between the trees, leaning against the trunks

Heart of Darkness

1136 words - 5 pages Heart of Darkness Imperialism has always had certain negative effects. Not only are the victims of imperialism exploited economically but they are often bound to experience racism. The natives are forced to abandon their political and spiritual views to learn the ways of the imperialists. In Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, Conrad describes the negative consequences affiliated with imperialism for not only the indigenous people, but

Heart of Darkness - Summary

1100 words - 5 pages In An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Achebe tires to convince the readers of the Hear of Darkness that Conrad is racist. “Conrad saw and condemned the evil of imperial exploitation but was strangely unaware of the racism on which it sharpened its iron tooth.” (Achebe, 349) Achebe believes that Conrad’s use of Africa, as a place, a symbol, of evil and darkness as the fulcrum for his novel is racist. But, if one were to

Heart Of Darkness

1687 words - 7 pages “I had immense plans.” Explore the changes of direction and desire in the novels Heart of Darkness and the Great Gatsby. Kurtz and Gatsby both have their own hopes and desires in the respective novels. For kurtz he wanted to colonise Africa by bringing the light; for Gatsby, he wanted to win­over Daisy to be his true love. However, both novels are similar in portraying how these plans can go horrifically wrong. Today i will explain how

Heart Of Darkness

2916 words - 12 pages In Heart of Darkness, there is a real contrast between what is light and what is dark In Heart of Darkness, there is a real contrast between what is light and what is dark. These contrasts work within the reality of what is considered civilized and uncivilized. The light representing civilization or the civilized side of the world and the dark representing the uncivilized or savage side of the world. Throughout the book, there are

Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1566 words - 7 pages Conrads Heart of Darkness Conrad's Heart of Darkness Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, relies on his knowledge of history in order to describe its protagonist, Charlie Marlow, and his struggle. Marlow's feeling in the novel, as he goes to the Congo, rests on how he visualizes the effects of what is going on around him. Meaning that his attitude will be change during his experiences and his thoughts will change with everything

Heart of Darkness Analysis

678 words - 3 pages Heart of Darkness; Setting Analysis Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad is the story of a man by the name of Charles Marlow who recounts his journey up the Congo River to a group of friends, years after the events occurred. His story tells of him becoming a captain of a ship, and his adventure trying to navigate the Congo river. This story is based in the early 1800’s when slavery and colonization of Africa and african people were big

Heart of Darkness - Female Roles

919 words - 4 pages Heart of Darkness In Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, the protagonist Charlie Marlow’s overall view of women embodies the 19th century mentality of females being the inferior sex. This perspective is broadened through the use of several minor female characters, who serve not only to contrast the different roles and placement on the social hierarchy of that time, but to allude to the predominant issue of imperialism and idealism in the

Heart of Darkness: the Evil of Imperialism

683 words - 3 pages Nathan Scott Miss Hughes Sinclair English Period 3 11 December 2013 A Literary Analysis of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness During the late 19th Century, the African Congo was a place of sorrow, pain, and misery for the natives. Under the imperial rule of European nations, the native Africans were enslaved and forced to work. Millions of Africans died during this time, especially in the Congo. Joseph Conrad went to the Congo, intending to

Related Essays

A Heart Of Darkness Essay

1748 words - 7 pages In this short story, there are frequent significant subject and ideas that make the story, "A Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad, and haunting novel. The main theme is absolute white power over the natives. The theme validates the corruption, and the dependence caused by the white people as they took over the Congo. White men were giving all the power; they had no self-control, and in the end they did not use wisely. The white men became

Heart Of Darkness Essay

1006 words - 5 pages Heart of Darkness Essay Light and dark imagery is one element most commonly used in literature, and has held specific symbolic meanings for hundreds of years. Simply stated, light generally symbolizes good, while darkness symbolizes the complete opposite, evil. More specifically, Conrad uses detailed imagery of light and dark to show that white men can in fact be more savage than the natives. While the contrast of light and dark, white and

Heart Of Darkness 1 Essay

527 words - 3 pages Heart of Darkness Symbolism "Heart of Darkness" includes a lot of symbols which are very significant, firstly, the title of the novel "Heart of Darkness" is a symbol of the darkness in every man of us which is hidden inside every one of us, however, when removed from civilized society, evil will be released. When Kurtz went to the Congo river, his evil is shown, he is removed from the civilized society, he becomes worse than the African

Heart Of Darkness Essay 647 Words

647 words - 3 pages APOCALYPSE NOW ←Page-to-Screen Adaptation→ John Milius’s original screenplay moved Joseph Conrad’s 1898 novella Heart of Darkness from colonial Africa to the heart of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. Although Milius made drastic changes, he left the basic structure intact: a man travels upriver to face an evil genius and, along the way, must face his fears, his mortality, and the possibility that he will go slowly insane. Director Francis