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Heart Of Darkness

Uploaded by Admin on Feb 26, 2000

Whether a reader connects to the symbolism of Heart Of Darkness or is merely reading it for fun, one cannot go away from this story without a lingering feeling of uneasiness. Joseph Conrad writes what seems to be a simple story about a man in search of an ivory hunter; one must look deeper into the jungle which makes up the core of Heart Of Darkness , where Conrad hides the meanings and symbolisms that shape this story. Conrad has been accused of being a racist because of the way he portrays the natives in this story. It is a controversy that continues even today. It can be argued that because of the way he depicts the natives, they cannot be an essential part of Heart of Darkness. However, if one reads between the lines it is obvious the story would not be shaped the way it was if the natives were not involved. The natives in a sense, create Kurtz. They are his “people” and his followers: Suddenly round the corner of the house a group of men appeared, as though they had come up from the ground. They waded waist-deep in the grass in a compact body bearing an improvised stretcher in their midst. Instantly in the emptiness of the landscape a cry arose whose shrillness pierced the still air…And is if by enchantment streams of human beings - of naked human beings - with spears in their hands, with bows, with shields, with wild glances and savage movements, were poured into the clearing by the dark-faced and pensive forest.(58-59) The first time Marlow meets Kurtz is in this scene. It shows Kurtz not only depends on the natives for physical support but also for protection. Conrad's portrayal of the natives as "human beings with wild glances and savage movements" is ironic because Conrad does not think they have the right to be put on the same level as the white man even though Kurtz could not exist without them. The natives are Kurtz’s followers and worship him like a god and yet they are seen as only a part of the jungle that is “dark” and “undiscovered”. One scene in Heart Of Darkness which unquestionably shows the lack of respect the natives are given is when Marlow is at the Company Station on his way to the Congo. He describes the natives as “ants” which are decomposers. Marlow is describing the...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   02/26/2000

Category:   Heart Of Darkness

Length:   6 pages (1,289 words)

Views:   2768

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