Heart Of Darkness Symbolism

Heart Of Darkness Symbolism

Expressions of symbolism throughout Joseph Conrad?s Heart of Darkness have a significant impact on the depth and insight of the novel. Conrad?s use of contrast between images of light and darkness, and his use of characters and inanimate objects as symbols of European imperialism give the story a greater and deeper meaning than first observed by the reader. The use of characters such as Mr. Kurtz and the manager, to the many symbols of the novel help express the dark side of European imperialism and the innocence of the people of the Congo.
Using Marlow?s narration, the novel begins with the Nellie floating down the River Thames with Marlow and company on board. As Marlow?s story travels to the Congo images of darkness throughout his dialogue become more evident and abundant. The Congo, Mr. Kurtz, and the ignorance of the Europeans towards another cultural group are all symbolized by images of darkness. However, opposing the darkness theme, images of light symbolize London, civilization, and the innocence of the people of the Congo. Marlow, interestingly, describes the white Europeans as having black souls, suggesting an evil nature within, while the ?black? natives are described as having

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