Theme Of Order And Chaos In The Heart Of Darkness

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Conrad uses examples of order and chaos throughout his novel to aid in the delivery of the differentiation of the truth of human nature and the sham of civilization. In these examples, order represents civilization and chaos represents the wilderness of Africa. When Marlow finally left the central station to retrieve Mr. Kurtz, he and his crew stop at an abandoned cottage in the middle of the jungle where a European once lived and noticed an old book on the table. Marlow says, “Not a very enthralling book; but at the first glance you could see the singleness of intention, an honest concern for the right way of doing work, . . . The simple od sailor, with is talk of chains and purchases, made me forget about the jungle and the pilgrims in a delicious sensation of having come upon something unmistakably real” (78). This book represents order, and it was heavily used by the white man; this implies that this book was his way of protecting himself from the chaotic jungle around him. As Marlow read this book, he began to forget about the chaotic world around him, and it made him feel something normal from civilization. Conrad is using this plot event and the setting of the cottage to show the difference in the Europeans principles of order and chaos, as well as show how some of them use this order to shield themselves from the chaos. Conrad also uses many examples of how the sham of civilization hides the truth of our human nature. Conrad compares the Native Africans to the raw
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