Heart of Darkness Lit. Journal

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Heart of Darkness: Literary Vocabulary Journal

Directions: As you read Heart of Darkness, you will note examples of important literary devices used by Conrad in the text. First, find the definition and fill them in the table below. Then, find and example from the text. You can find definitions on the internet (using a literary terms dictionary). Or in a Literary Dictionary.

Online Literary Dictionary: http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_A.html

Term/Definition:Example from the text:Brief Explanation as to How Example creates Meaning in the Text:Page #: Archetype: the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies

“I’ve seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire; but, by all the stars! These were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed and drove men - men I tell you.”The devil is used as the representation of evil and all that is immoral. You could say that it is often used as the basis for immorality. So, the usage of the devil is an archetype that has been used over and over.Page 23 Allusion: an implied or indirect reference especially in literature to something else

“But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curling afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depth of the land.” “It charmed me.” This is an allusion to the Bible where Eve is seduced by the devil in the form of a snake to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Despite God’s warning when he first created her that she mustn’t eat from that tree, she listened to the snake and ate from it thus learning about the evils of life like pain, embarrassment, and ‘darkness’ in general. Page 10 & page 11 Connotation: The extra tinge or taint of meaning each word carries beyond the minimal, strict definition found in a dictionary

“The heart of the impenetrable darkness”This quote isn’t literal where a heart is literally shrouded in shadow. The work darkness has connotation to bad, evil things.Page 71 Diction: The choice of a particular word as opposed to others

“The monotonous beating of a drum filled the air with muffled shocks and a lingering vibration. A steady droning sound of many men chanting each to himself some weird incantation.”I have noticed that Conrad often uses ‘passive voice’ in his writing that creates a dreamy, hazy tone for the reader as opposed to active voice that would make the reading quicker and more adventurous.Page 96 Epiphany: In modern fiction and poetry, the standard term for the sudden flare into revelation of an ordinary object or scene

“What saves us is efficiency - the devotion to efficiency…” “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only.”Marlow has had an epiphany from his experience in how our concentration to doing things efficiently saves our thoughts from being consumed by outside sources and how society shouldn’t judge others or condemn others who are different. However, the only thing that makes that behavior right is the idea.Page 8 Figurative: A deviation from what speakers of a language understand as the ordinary or standard use of words in order to achieve some special meaning or effect

‘“…he came to them with thunder and lightning…’”Of course, he didn’t actually have thunder and lightning within his hands, but it is meant figuratively, possibly refering to Zeus who used thunder and lightning, but the Russian means that Kurtz had comed to the natives with a flair that bedazzled them. This is significant to the text in that the natives revered Kurtz like a god, not unlike the Greeks toward Zeus.Page 84 Imagery: A common term of variable meaning, imagery includes the "mental pictures"...
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