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Literary Devices Used In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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BRIEF ANALYSIS The use of various literary devices in Joseph Conrad’s novel helps to bring his story to life, which ultimately is to his advantage. Conrad brings the reader into the darkness, displayed the corruptibility of humankind and left them pondering the absurdity of evil and imperialism. One of the strongest literary devices that Conrad uses to engage the reader in his novella is the use of imagery. However other important literary devices that are used throughout the novel as well as in the extract above is: similes, metaphors, personification, foreshadowing, and symbolism and narrative techniques. One of the key themes in the extract above is the dark/light symbolism. Conrad is unique in his use of this symbolism in that he does not connect light with pure goodness or enlightenment. For example, light in the extract above, actually gave way to darkness. Marlow came in with a lit candle (light) and stood by Kurtz who told him he was waiting in the dark for…show more content…
First, when Kurtz cries ‘The horror! The horror!’ marks a period of anticipation of Kurtz’s death as well as the beginning of his death. Then the flies come swarming in around the lamp, the cloth, and faces and hands of Marlow and the pilgrims. The flies are the symbol of slow decay and disintegration. The flies are incorporated into the passage as if to actually mark the moment that Kurtz dies. Finally, the manager’s boy brings the moment of his death to Marlow and the other pilgrims. The abrupt and unpoetic roughness of ‘Mistah Kurtz-he dead’ is contrary with Kurtz’s idea of how he wanted to be remembered. The brief moment of Kurtz’s death as well as his reduction to something ‘being buried in a muddy hole’ demonstrates the impossibility that Kurtz and his ideas will ever be remembered. The passage as a whole begins with a poetic darkness that represents the death of a soul and ends with the abrupt reality of the end of his
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