Heart of Darkness Essay

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Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness explores many themes throughout the book which can be related to one another such as “Identity” and “Darkness” Joseph Conrad depicts these themes through the use of symbolism and how the narrator thinks and speaks. Joseph Conrad uses a diverse range of symbolism throughout the novel to communicate a deeper message within, it allows readers to think more in depth and make a connection to its meaning. It could also the message easier to understand. In Heart of Darkness there are two narrators, the first is unknown but opens the scene and through him we are introduced with Marlow, who himself is recounting his story; this indicates that almost everything in the book will be a reflection of his thoughts and what he sees, this leads into the first theme of discussion: Identity. Heart of Darkness is enriched with the focus of identity, as it follows throughout the whole of Marlow’s journey. One could say that “Heart of Darkness” is about finding ones identity. The theme of Identity basically means ones character, his or her individuality and personality. As identity is such a broad topic it can be broken down into other sections. There is Loss of identity, finding ones identity, creating false identities. But the two main characters, Marlow and Kurtz portray the theme of identity the most clearly and effectively. As Marlow narrates the story readers can view his opinions which make up his identity, it is clearly evident that throughout the story Marlow’s identity has changed, we can see this from one of many examples, the most prominent is at end of Marlow’s story, when he returns to Europe he states that he was “resenting the people hurrying through the streets to filch a little money from each other…”. With this quote we can see that he is disgusted by the civilisation he once was a part of, calling them ‘irritating’ & “full of stupid importance”, because he believed that they were living so carefree when...
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