Heart of Darkness2



Heart of darkness

Joseph Conrad

In Joseph Conrad\'s Heart of Darkness, there is a great
interpretation of the feelings of the characters and uncertainties of
the Congo. Although Africa, nor the Congo are ever really referred to,
the Thames river is mentioned as support. This intricate story reveals
much symbolism due to Conrad\'s theme based on the lies and good and
evil, which interact together in every man. Today, of course, the
situation has changed. Most literate people know that by probing into
the heart of the jungle Conrad was trying to convey an impression
about the heart of man, and his tale is universally read as one of the
first symbolic masterpieces of English prose (Graver,28). In any
event, this story recognizes primarily on Marlow, its narrator, not
about Kurtz or the brutality of Belgian officials. Conrad wrote a
brief statement of how he felt the reader should interpret this work:
"My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written
word, to make you hear, to make you feel-it is above all, to make
you see.(Conrad 1897) Knowing that Conrad was a novelist who lived in
his work, writing about the experiences were as if he were writing
about himself. "Every novel contains an element of autobiography-and
this can hardly be denied, since the creator can only explain himself
in his creations."(Kimbrough,158) The story is written as seen through
Marlow\'s eyes. Marlow is a follower of the sea. His voyage up the
Congo is his first experience in freshwater navigation. He is used as
a tool, so to speak, in order for Conrad to enter the story and tell
it out of his own philosophical mind. He longs to see Kurtz, in the
hope\'s of appreciating all that Kurtz finds endearing in the African
jungle. Marlow does not get the opportunity to see Kurtz until he is
so disease-stricken he looks more like death than a person. There are
no good looks or health. In the story Marlow remarks that Kurtz
resembles "an animated image of death carved out of old ivory." Like
Marlow, Kurtz is seen as an honorable man to many admirers; but he is
also a thief, murderer, raider, persecutor, and above all he allows
himself to be worshipped as a god. Both men had good intentions to
seek, yet Kurtz seemed a "universally genius" lacking basic integrity
or a sense of responsibility (Roberts,43). In the end they form one
symbolic unity. Marlow and Kurtz are the light and dark selves of a
single person. Meaning each one is what the other might have been.
Every person Marlow meets on his venture contributes something to the
plot as well as the overall symbolism of the story. Kurtz is the
violent devil Marlow describes at the story\'s beginning. It was his
ability to control men through fear and adoration that led Marlow to
signify this. Throughout the story Conrad builds an unhealthy darkness
that never allows the reader to forget the focus of the story. At
every turn he sees evil lurking within the
land. Every image reflects a dreary, blank one. The deadly Congo
snakes to link itself with the sea and all other rivers of darkness
and light, with the tributaries and source of man\'s being on earth
(Dean,189). The setting of these adventurous and moral quests is the
great jungle, in which most of the story takes place. As a symbol the
forest encloses all, and in the heart of the African journey Marlow
enters the dark cavern of his won heart. It even becomes an image of a
vast catacomb of evil, in which Kurtz dies, but from which Marlow
emerges spiritually reborn. The manager, in charge of three stations
in the jungle, feels Kurtz poses a threat to his own position. Marlow
sees how the manager is deliberately trying to delay any help or
supplies to Kurtz. He hopes he will die of neglect. This is where the
inciting moment of the story lies. Should the company in Belgium
find out the truth a bout Kurtz\'s success in an ivory procurer, they
would undoubtedly elevate him to the position of manager. The
manager\'s insidious and pretending nature opposes all truth
(Roberts,42). This story can be