A World Without Society In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Within human nature lies animalistic behavior from which our vices stem. Societal rules and restraints allow us to suppress these more animalistic instincts and advance as a species. However, when one has access to the power that comes with advancement but is placed in a world without the necessary constraints to control this power new vices are formed fueled by greed and self-righteous attitudes. The novella, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, explores the darkness within and what draws it out of one 's soul. Conrad uses Africa as a metaphor for the motherland of this darkness, a world without rules; through setting description, character description, and obvious aspects of the plot that comment on the need for civilization, Conrad explains…show more content…
Throughout the text conrad makes it apparent through the actions of various characters that life without society can have detrimental effects on one 's mental state. The first example of this is the scene in the beginning of the novel where Marlow receives a checkup from the company doctor. The doctor oddly requests to measure Marlow’s head, “I always ask leave, in the interests of science, to measure the crania of those going out there," he said. "And when they come back too?" I asked. "Oh, I never see them, " he remarked; "and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know." This is an example of foreshadowing as the doctor suggests that going into jungle is basically a death sentence. While Marlow managed to narrowly avoid death he did witness a lot of extremely twisted things inside the jungle which causes him to have mental struggles of his own. Practically the whole story we witness not only the mental deterioration of Marlow but also Kurtz. Kurtz apparently lost his head while in the jungle. He became obsessed with the hunt for ivory and became so power driven that he put a bunch of natives heads on stake outside of his hut. In Marlow’s words, “The powers of darkness have claimed him for their own" By the “powers of darkness” Conrad is referring to the animalistic instinctual behavior that is allowed to thrive in the jungle where there is no rules. The last obvious message that the darkness cannot be contained in the jungle is the behavior of the station manager. In a conversation that Marlow overhears between the station manager and his uncle about a rival agent. The uncle makes the suggests, “‘get him hanged! Why not? Anything—anything can be done in this country.’” In this comment made by the uncle lies the essence of the darkness. The reason why everything is so hectic in the jungle is because there are no laws or rules. Anything goes and when anything goes peoples darkside is more easily revealed. The line between right and wrong is blurred and
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