Friday, July 19, 2019

Dangers of Darkness in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness :: essays research papers

Webster’s dictionary defines darkness as a space â€Å"devoid or partially devoid of light.† Throughout Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad uses darkness in many ways, as this book truly defines its title. This also develops Conrad’s theme, which is the presence of darkness in both ourselves, and in the world we live. Darkness symbolizes the unknown, the concealed, and the feared. Darkness can hide many hurtful, fearful, and savage things. Several times in the novel readers can see characters afraid of the darkness and the unknown behind it. One of these is when the men aboard the steamboat, which is heading into dense fog, hear a piercing scream. The men are especially frightened because the source of this scream is unknown because of the darkness. Darkness is also shown throughout the book as an abstract term referring to the absence of morals in a society. The â€Å"darkness† of the country conceals the brutal actions of the region. This is especially evident in Kurtz’s most barbaric act, the placement of human heads on poles that surround his house. Conrad tries to portray to readers that the fearful â€Å"darkness† can also be something that is not strictly literal, but instead something spiritual. Lastly, the tendency toward darkness in all humans is evident in this book. First the company of men is willing to go into the darkness of the jungle because of the potential of wealth. Secondly, this is portrayed when the men see the sunlight, and instead of heading towards it they decide to head back into the darkness. Conrad is showing readers that human’s natural tendency is to head towards the darkness instead of light. This is summed up beautifully at the end of the book when the narrator says the boat is headed â€Å"into the heart of an immense darkness.† This shows that from beginning to end humans have that natural tendency to head into the â€Å"darkness.

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