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Title significance: Heart of Darkness

Uploaded by abhrapaul on Aug 06, 2006

Title significance: Heart of Darkness

“The heart of darkness of the title is at once the heart of Africa, the heart of every thing that is nihilistic, corrupt, and malign-and –perhaps the heart of man”. Thus the title is most significant and suggestive of the content. It indicates the theme in both contexts: literal and allegorical.
The title of the novel is allegorical. It has its symbolic meaning also. “Darkness” is the leading theme of the novel. Darkness overshadows almost everything in the novel. The uncivilized and wild attitude of the natives intensifies the darkness of fear and horror. When Marlow is attacked by the tribes, first he hears a clamorous cry that terrifies him and all the white men on the steamer.
Something sinister and destructive is waiting for an opportunity. Marlow’s comment over the gesture of uncle who raised his arms and moved it towards the wilderness is quite significant: “I saw him extend his flipper of an arm for a gesture that took in the forest, the creek, the mud, the river, - seemed a beckon with a dishonoring flourish before the sunlight face of the land, a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, in the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of heart”.
Mr.Krutz is the essence of savagery and barbarism of the natives in the novel. Mr.Krutz .has identified himself with the natives. He starts taking participation in the customs, ceremonies, midnight dances etc. The darkness of Mr.Krutz’s heart gets itself fully liberated to work at his own will among the savages. His devilish passions get “abominable satisfaction” there and he himself becomes a part of the darkness of Congo. It is the literal darkness of Congo that has converted a civilized, enlightened man into a devil.
The novel may be treated as a journey by Marlow into his own subconscious mind or into the subconscious mind of all mankind. Marlow’s journey into Congo is metaphorical or psychological and anthropological night-journey. The novel is symbolically the story of an essentially solitary journey involving a profound spiritual change in the voyager. In its classical form, this journey is a descent into the earth, followed by a return to light. Marlow prepares us for such a journey at the very outset when he says that he had been able to arrive at the furthest point of navigation and the culminating point of his experience. The novel certainly describes a physical journey or...

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Uploaded by:   abhrapaul

Date:   08/06/2006

Category:   Heart Of Darkness

Length:   2 pages (481 words)

Views:   12099

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