Heart Of Darkness Nihilism Essay

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In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the main character Marlow relays his tale of an expedition to Africa. While Marlow describes his journey through darkness, Conrad parallels Marlow experience with that of the Europeans in Africa. The darkness, in this case, represents the unpredictability of not only Marlow’s journey into Africa, but also the effect of the Europeans entering and exploitation of African commodities, namely ivory. Marlow’s journey is also a journey into the criticism of his own culture and his exploration into the meaning of human existence. While in Africa Marlow’s external journey gradually shapes his internal expedition, in which he concludes that life has no meaning and thus society is clueless of this fact. Upon returning to Europe, Joseph Conrad uses Marlow’s nihilist philosophy to convey a belief that Europeans are in the darkness about the lack of the meaning of life. Marlow has no desire to enlighten them because he comes to the realization that to be enlightened is to believe …show more content…

Upon returning from one of his long voyages, tired of his leisure time on land, he decides that he will find another ship to go on to find work. Marlow states, “Then I began to look for a ship¬¬–I should think the hardest work no earth. But the ships wouldn’t even look at me” (Conrad 8). No mater how hard Marlow looked for work, no one would hire him. He then gives us an idea as to why he wanted to find work so fast. When he was a child, the blank spaces on the maps fascinated him; he would always dream of one day visiting the uncharted places of the world. Soon after explaining his love for the sea, he was offered a job to go retrieve the head of a company’s bones from Africa. Thus, after longing for an opportunity like this, he quickly accepted. Therefore, Marlow’s fascination for charting the unknown drove him to find work, in order for him to continue following his passion: the

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