Summary Of Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

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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…
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.…show more content…
Conrad explains his belief that society is vital through character description, setting description, and various aspects of the novellas plot while also showing the dangers involved in the process of imperialism. Despite these dangers, through the tone and diction that Conrad uses, we as readers can see that he supports imperialism. He believes it is the only thing that can shield us from the darkness that lies within us all and the only way to stop us from committing horrible acts is to get as far away from our instincts as possible. In the end this novella is an example of the lack of control humans have a tendency to practice without rules and consequences to correct
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