Heart of Darkness Quickwrite #1
In the novel Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad, Charlie Marlow, an introspective sailor accurately discusses restraint and several of its aspects through an encounter he has with the natives. When the native’s hippo meat spoils and thus they are left without food, Marlow admires the quality of self control and restraint displayed by the supposed cannibals. While observing with a slight hint of respect and surprise at the lack of savagery they’re exhibiting, Marlow questions whether they did not kill them due to the fact that it was “some kind of primitive honor”(18). The fact that the natives did not attack them reveals how much Marlow values self control and not acting accordingly to the situation. Since it is most likely that Marlow has difficulty himself practicing this attribute, he perceives the cannibals as possessing restraint as something truly remarkable and honorable. In order to combat hunger, the person must be mentally strong as it can be compared to the dishonor of humiliation or perhaps death. Due to the fact that it consumes a large quantity of energy to control the arduous pain of hunger, Marlow reflects on how it is better to endure such predicaments than to go through the “devilry of lingering starvation, [and] its exasperating torment”(21). Conrad’s diction unveils how starvation is truly a test of man’s ability to survive when put to the limits. The phrase “exasperating torment” conveys the idea that restrain to not act irrationally is absolutely essential at that moment. In continuation, Conrad employs the element of simile to describe how restraint was what Marlow least expected from the natives. Marlow is marveled at the natives’ behavior that he senses that since they had no motive for acting in that manner he would have also expected control “from a hyena prowling amongst the corpses of a battlefield”(26). The simile that Marlow utilizes is also ironic, as...
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