Heart of Darkness

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 139
  • Published : October 8, 1999
Open Document
Text Preview
Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad is a fictional novel with an overflow of symbolism. Throughout the entire novel Conrad uses a plethora of simple colors, objects, and places in order to clarify very complex meanings. By doing this, Conrad is able to lure the reader into a world unlike his or her own: the Congo River, located in central Africa. Although the interpretation of these symbols is so elaborate, the simplicity of each makes it somewhat easy to overlook. A few examples of the many symbols found in Conrad's novel include the jungle, as well as the colors of white and black, better known as the colors of life and death.

In Heart of Darkness, the images of black and white have the usual connotations of evil and good. These pigments are found throughout the entire book. Ironically, although black, the native Africans seem to represent a sort of good by doing what they feel is right. On the other hand, the white foreigners carry themselves with some kind of evil as they exploit the great kindness of the blacks. I guess you could say that the white men were filled with a black hatred inside. Another example is found when Marlow enters the Belgian company's office. Sitting in the office are two women dressed almost completely in black. Marlow is no beginning to understand the seriousness of the journey he is going to make. Even his predecessor dies because of a quarrel over two black hens. The usage of black is almost too much to handle. Another example that I also

remembered from the movie was how Kurtz's pictures were always placed within

a dark ebony back round. Another ironic example is the continued description

of the white ivory. Its beautiful white shine makes it look righteous, even though it really demonstrates a great evil as the elephants were being destroyed along with other people.

Other colors were of importance as well to truly understand the symbolic nature of the...
tracking img