Heart of Darkness Essay

This essay has a total of 963 words and 4 pages.

Heart of Darkness



One of the most memorable moments for many students will occur when they see "Star Wars:
The Phantom Menace," the first part of a prequel trilogy to the beloved Star Wars trilogy.
The original three films Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the
Jedi have embedded themselves in our current culture. The Force, composer John William's
famous soundtrack, and lines such as "Luke, I am your father"(which is never said in any
of the movies) have become common in present day culture. But, the Star Wars trilogy also
contains a deeper theme that is not unique to the current time period. In George Lucas's
Star Wars Trilogy as well in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the contrast between good
and evil is conveyed through the optical, symbolic differences of black and white. The
planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back and the Congo in Heart of Darkness are very
symbolically similar. The Rebel Alliance has a base on the ice planet of Hoth. The Rebel
Alliance stands for good as do the snow and ice that cover Hoth; hence, a society of good
stationed on a good planet. But, the Galactic Empire, or pure evil, soon attacks and
overtakes Hoth. This situation on Hoth is similar to the white assimilationist techniques
used in the dark, African Congo. The white man, "evil", attempts to assimilate the Congo,
or goodness. Thus, both Hoth and the Congo and their assimilations, however successful,
typify the conquests of evil over good. The clothing of Luke Skywalker across the whole
Star Wars Trilogy and of Marlow across his trek into the jungle symbolize man's journey of
self-realization. In the very beginning of Star Wars, Luke wears a robe of white. For
practical purposes the robe should be white because then it will reflect the most sunlight
away on the planet of Tatooine; but the white color of the robe also stands for Luke's
pure goodness at that point in time. But as time progresses, namely in the latter portion
of The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi, Luke begins to wear the garb of a
Jedi-a black tunic and matching pants. These dark outfits symbolize the fact that Luke
contains an element of evil within him that he can never destroy, namely that he is the
son of Anakin Skywalker-the man who would become Darth Vader. In Heart of Darkness, once
Marlow realizes that he was produced by an evil white society he throws away his dark,
blood stained shoe. Casting off this dark article of clothing symbolizes Marlow's
rejection of evil society. A change in the personalities of these two characters can be
seen through the change in their clothing The characters of Darth Vader and Kurtz both
symbolically represent the hidden good or evil in a person that is primarily evil or good.
Darth Vader is evil. No doubt can be had that this is true; not only does he wear an
black, mechanical suit which looks menacing, but he also has no qualms about killing other
people, even his own family. However, a shred of decency does remain within Darth Vader as
is seen in The Return of the Jedi. As Emperor Palpatine is destroying Luke Skywalker,
Darth Vader attacks the emperor in order to save his son. Once the emperor, Darth Vader
tells Luke to take off his black mask to reveal a pure, white face although this means his
certain death. At this point, Darth Vader has reverted back into Anakin Skywalker and has
revealed to his son that he really had good inside of him before he died. In Heart of
Darkness, Kurtz is similar to Darth Vader. Kurtz's life has turned to evil. He exploits a
group of people, similar to what the Empire does to its inhabitants. Not until the very
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