The Symbolism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Register to read the introduction…The lights from the city reflected the Thames River because London is described as being light, the light symbolizes Conrad’s view of civilization. According to Conrad civilization is where evil is present but ignored. The light is the knowledge that is gained through exploring. Conrad uses Africa and the Congo River to represent the evil that waits in the unknown. The darkness is said to be full of savages and cannibals it is further emphasized as being the uncivilized part of the world where people eat people and the savages wait in the trees and in the darkness. Africa in this novella is portrayed as “the Heart of Darkness” the place where the men’s inner evil is exposed, this is done through their thoughts and actions. The contrast between the Thames River and the Congo River is also made evident in the novella. The Thames River is described as calm and peaceful. It is viewed as a city of light that is not mysterious. On the other hand the Congo River is said to be the winding snake because of its dark appearance hence a place of evil. The difference in these two rivers shows us the difference disciplined and the uncultivated. The disciplined River is smooth hence symbolizes a society that has been disciplined by law and order. Whereas the Congo mirrors an uncultivated…show more content…
In this novella it is not viewed as the opposite of darkness but as a contributing component of darkness. The fog obscures and distorts, it allows one to decide whether to continue or not because what is ahead of the journey is not revealed as it is about to be approached. Marlow is caught in the fog, because he does not know what he will encounter ahead of him he is unable to prepare himself for what is ahead. “I authorize you to take all the risks” (Conrad, 1899 :). The manager tells Marlow he can go ahead upstream into the fog, but Marlow hesitates. This shows the incompetent nature of the character of the manager. Conrad, users fog as a symbol of confusion and mystery. The fog that follows Marlow’s ship on his journey gets thicker as he makes progress towards approaching the inner station where Kurts is. The fog would represent lack of clarity and control. While the ship gets closer the heart of the native country the morals, ethics and humanity of these people dissolves into the fog leaving the people consumed by the creed
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