Symbolism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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The colonization of Africa is rarely spoken about, it is a dark part of the European history that many want to forget. Not only is it rarely spoken about, but there are few literary works that remind us of the horrible events that did take place, especially from the victims’ point of view, the African population. The majority of the authors that have written about the colonization are Europeans and they have in many cases been criticized for their racist depiction of the events. Joseph Conrad, one of the most famous colonization authors, has been wildly criticized for the underlying racism in his novel Heart of Darkness, which was published in 1902, but he has also been praised for his criticizing way of depicting the colonization. In order to interpret the underlying racism in the novel, and other hidden perspectives such as the depiction of women, the symbolism in the novel has to be discussed. Therefore symbolism plays a great part to understand the novel thoroughly.

First and foremost women are depicted as incapable of grasping what goes on in the world. Marlow says, and I quote; ”Girl! What? Did I mention a girl? Oh, she is out of it - completely. They - the women I mean- are out of it - should be out of it. We must help them to stay in that beautiful world of their own lest ours gets worse.”. By analyzing this statement it is understood that Marlow believes that women live in a world of beautiful illusions that has little to do with the real world, in which they are
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