Mrs. Sandy B. Hunter
5 September 2012
The Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness has foreshadowing that adds a lot of suspense throughout the book. Conrad used foreshadowing through minor details that are not clearly stated and are to be interpreted as the book continues.
The setting of the book--on a small sailing craft on a river as night falls--and Marlow's comparison, by implication, of the dark heart of Africa (the Belgian Congo) and the barbarian darkness on the northern fringes of the Roman Empire, both are examples of irony and foreshadowing.
In the beginning Marlow is remembering what it may have been like to be a young Roman conqueror exploring through the jungle. He would have had to deal with “…cold, fog, tempests, disease, exile, and death...” Marlow mentions how the soldier would have had a “fascination of the abomination” . Later in the book this same fascination overcame Kurtz after his long time in the Congo, “he hates sometimes the idea of being taken away” . Even when Marlow finds Kurtz, he can’t “break the spell – the heavy mute spell of the wilderness – that seemed to draw him to its pitiless breast by the awakening of forgotten and brutal instincts”
When Marlow begins to share his story about an earlier sea voyage, he shares with his fellow mates a story about how one of their captains was killed because of a fight that arose over two black hens. Fresleven, one of the men in the fight, began to beat a native because of his desire for the hen. The native’s son broke up the fight and “made a tentative jab with a spear at the white man – and of course it went quite easy between the shoulder blades” . Marlow then takes Fresleven’s job as captain of the ship, stepping into his shoes. Later on in the book when Marlow’s ship is under a light attack, his helmsman was speared through the ribs, causing him to die. Blood filled Marlow’s shoes, and he threw them overboard. This is an example of