Heart of Darkness
In this passage taken from the Heart of Darkness, the reader is given a number of intertwining themes and symbolic phrases that are presented through the use of specialized language techniques, these language techniques also help to describe the mood of the situation, and the atmosphere. Conrad has used a number of different techniques too communicate his idea’s across to the reader. Some of the themes portrayed in the section include, many metaphors based on the forest, such as the forests power and youthfulness, immensity, and the contrasting natures of mankind and the forest. The atmosphere in the passage remains fairly constant throughout the passage, the darkness and gloom are suggested repeatedly, but throughout you see evidences of other atmospherically changes that occur.
In the first line, “going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world” Conrad has used a simile to describe how going up the river felt. It tells us that the forest, the further you progressed from the beginning, the further away from civilization, and the present you found yourself in. Conrad goes further to explain that the vegetation rioted and that the big trees were kings. He is giving us an example of how the forest is its own master, how powerful it is. To implement these ideas in this situation Conrad has used personification, to give the forest words that people immediately associate power with; big trees were kings. The quote the line a sense of isolation, as though he is traveling into the unknown.
Throughout the passage Conrad continually stresses the immensity and power the forest possesses, using words such as impenetrable and thick, giving the reader a sense that Conrad’s character is in awe of the natural wonder that surrounds him. He then stresses the darkness of the forest, yet a