Redemption in "Heart of Darkness" Analytical Essay by ltn1dr

Redemption in "Heart of Darkness"
A brief analysis of Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness".
# 153669 | 788 words | 0 sources | 2012
Published on Aug 27, 2013 in Literature (English)

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The paper outlines the storyline of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and how it depicts the character Marlow's struggle between his goals and his conscience. The paper goes on to analyze how Conrad utilizes a variety of motifs and symbols to convey his message to society, specifically, the portrayal of "light" and "darkness" to convey concepts such as "evil" and "good", or "enlightenment" and the "unknown". The paper also highlights the different journeys and transformations of the two main characters, Marlow and Kurtz.

From the Paper:

"The attitude of the Company men and their evil actions in the story are related to the theme of darkness, in that the darkness represents the inability to see, figuratively. For example, the characters in the text are unable to see the Africans as human beings, and are therefore unable to establish any form of sympathetic synergy with the natives. The Company itself mirrors the society in which Conrad lived in; completely ignorant as to a large part of the world outside of England. The Heart of Darkness can be compared to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" -the real world is merely an illusion and society is still a prisoner in the metaphoric cave. Marlow's reality is that the world is covered in allegorical darkness, and the recognition of the world as an evil thing.
"Kurtz is introduced much later in the text, and Marlow's interaction with Kurtz throughout the book is minimal, but the reader can understand that Kurtz represents an exceedingly distinguished, idealistic, civilized, and moral European. Africa acts as a change agent to his moral disintegration and ultimate demise. Throughout his journey, Kurtz ends up having his morals ripped from him, and became so consumed by cruelty so as to even say, "Exterminate all the brutes!" (Conrad 50)."

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