Wildness And Beauty In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Wildness and Beauty in Heart of Darkness Is it possible to describe beauty and savagery at the same time? This is exactly what Joseph Conrad does throughout the book Heart of Darkness. Even though it looks like the main character Marlow stresses the negative and hostile sides of the nature in his narration, he still cannot hide his admiration. In fact, a glance at his description of the African woman in Kurtz’s station successfully helps the reader understand this admiration mixed with fright as a nice metaphorical summary of all the things he witness in his journey. The description of this woman starts with her entrance into Marlow’s sight, expressed in a way as if she is entering a stage in a theatre, from “right to left”. Not only that, also the word choice in expressing this entrance is also significant. He doesn’t say “a woman came into the view”, he says “an apparition of a woman” moved “along the lighted shore”. One almost expects him to say “the lighted stage”. She is like almost like a star that all of a sudden attracts all the attention to herself, ready to play her part. Her part is, of course, reflecting the very essence of the land.…show more content…
From the shape of her hair to her brass leggings and gauntlets, she is dressed in a warrior gear. Moreover, with the crimson spot on her cheek, which reminds one of blood, she succeeds in reminding the reader of not just a warrior, but a savage and deadly creature. Her mysterious appearance is completed by the “bizarre things, charms, gifts of witch-men” and other jewelry that make sounds and reflect light. This air of mystery makes her more complicated and frightful without losing the beauty due to the element of unknown features in the eyes of Europeans, and therefore another aspect of this woman’s metaphorical similarity to the lands they are in. Those lands that they have infiltrated are also both admirable and

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