The importance of symbolism in the heart of darkness by joseph conrad

Darkness and Belgian colonies, particularly the Congo, were notorious for the violence perpetuated against the natives. He stands for the thoughtful observer of human life and a student of human nature.

heart of darkness summary

This description also holds a meaning of its own about the darkness of the jungle as the river appears to not even want to flow towards the heart of the jungle, it wanted to flow away from it as if it knew that there was evil further up the river.

And nope, we don't source our examples from our editing service! He was internally struggling with what he was going to do with his life after he met Kurtz. Darkness is a major theme of the story and the river is one of the first places we discover this darkness.

Show More We have essays on the following topics that may be of interest to you. Another major figure of the novel is Marlow. This journey can be taken as the journey of Marlow into his subconscious or a journey into the subconscious mind of humankind.

Thus everyone is trying to see something in the darkness.

Heart of darkness characters

This description also holds a meaning of its own about the darkness of the jungle as the river appears to not even want to flow towards the heart of the jungle, it wanted to flow away from it as if it knew that there was evil further up the river. A sepulchre implies death and confinement, and indeed Europe is the origin of the colonial enterprises that bring death to white men and to their colonial subjects; it is also governed by a set of reified social principles that both enable cruelty, dehumanization, and evil and prohibit change. The interpretation of these women by most people is that they represent the ancient Greek mythology of the Moirae — the fate sisters. It was dark and filled with many dangers including the native people. Mistress of Kurtz Mistress of Kurtz who is the only African women described in the novel remains silent throughout the plot. The darkness could represent two things, one being the evil of an uncivilized place and the other being the cruelty of racism. Kurtz and picked him up and his cargo he was able to travel back down the river. The Title The title of the novel Heart of Darkness is itself quite symbolic. Once Marlow made it to Mr. Other Symbols The manager at outer station represents emptiness as he works like a machine, the brick-maker represents cunningness and trickery, cannibals represent self-restraint and hunger, native women represent loyalty, Ivory represents greed and dark woods and fog represent the darkness of mind and heart. Even though he knew that Kurtz was malicious, he still wanted to be a man isolated from the annoyances of modern civilization. Marlow knew what they were doing was wrong but that is how things work in the jungle where there are no rules. Marlow also describes one of the buildings burning down and the white men automatically find the first black person they can find and punishing him. Check out our Privacy and Content Sharing policies for more information.

The first symbol Conrad uses is the Congo River itself.

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SparkNotes: Heart of Darkness: Symbols