Connotation In Joseph Conrad Joseph's Heart Of Darkness

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Conrad Joseph’s Heart of Darkness is a novel that explores both the physical and psychological journeys of the characters. The novel is set on a river which runs through Congo. The journey reveals the darkness of Africa and the darkness in the individual psyche. Marlow, the main character takes on the journey and discovers more than just the beauty of the landscapes. The novel explores the damage that colonization does to white colonizers such as the character of Kurtz. The novel also raises the issue and impact of slavery on the natives. People are exploited so that the colonizers can build their riches. This is a predominant theme of colonization on a continent such as Africa, where individuals are vulnerable to the manipulation of the colonizers.…show more content…
But it was a victory!” (119). The irony used in this language creates a dramatic effect. A “moral victory” carries connotations of a defeat that has been won through honorable and ethical means. The irony of this victory lies in the manner which it was achieved. The “moral victory” stands in contradiction with “abominable terrors” and “abominable satisfactions”. Conrad uses this contradiction to emphasize the price of Kurtz’s moment of reflection and realization. Although he finally realizes how his actions have impacted numerous individuals, this realization has come at the expense of those who suffered under the colonialists. The word “abominable” is used to emphasize effect that greed and destruction had on the inhabitants of the Congo jungle. It was chosen specifically to create a stark contrast with the idea of morality and “moral victory”. This also reveals the irony that Marlow and Kurtz’s relationship contained. Marlow embodies a sense of goodness and Kurtz embodies greed and deception. They are at two different ends of the spectrum and yet Marlow is attracted the character of Kurtz. The sentence after Marlow’s explanation of the “abominable “acts, suggests why Marlow ironically draws closer to Kurtz. The “but” at the start of the sentence emphasizes Marlow’s need to see Kurtz in a positive view. This suggests that Marlow makes the decision to see the light in the darkness of the situation when he states, “But it was a victory!”. Our attention is drawn back to the notion of “victory”. Marlow feels proud of Kurtz and for this reason he remains “loyal” to him. The irony of Marlow’s loyalty towards Kurtz lies in the fact that Kurtz was a selfish individual and his loyalty extended to his own needs and agenda. Their relationship is
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