In Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, restraint as an underlying theme shows “civilized” man’s mentality. Restraint is what holds oneself together. The capability to suppress one’s own actions is the aptitude to control one’s mind. The white men deep in the “Heart of Darkness” lose all restraint in their desire to find ivory to fulfill their greed. All the natives believe that the white man actually wants to help out of the good of his heart, not that he is filled with greed. As Marlow travels on, he realizes that only the natives have restraint and respect. The white man takes what he wants with no respect. Marlow’s narrative shows his regret for being part of the “civilized,” constraintless society, in which he lives. This nineteenth century political novel allows people today to see how irrational the civilization attempts of the white Europeans are. The imperialist monarchs of the time send their explorers into the untamed wilderness, to utterly, unnecessarily,!
and profusely change the natives of the area. Conrad conveys the ideal that if everyone could restrain oneself, the world would be much more fluent and copious.
Marlow's restraint arises from his need to take care of the boat. The
Man"tms animal self underlies one"tms controlling mind. Marlow declares the restraint of the cannibals a mystery. As the helmsman dies in his arms, Marlow can feel the damage the white man has done. Even shoes are symbols of restraint in a context where the image of its opposite is the barefooted natives, the dancing savages. "Fine fellows--cannibals--in their place. Marlow is a ranking white man, so he can not lower himself. Are these savages to know restraint, but Kurtz the civilized, the refined, able to allow himself to act without it, unable to control himself Restraint appears to have different causes in the several characters in which it occurs. Conrad displays how the loss of restraint by the white man causes a loss of all proper judgement. In the end, Kurtz realizes how his lack of restraint has cursed him. It is possible that our id-like animal self can become dominant, commanding, self-indulgent and all destructive. The Africans did nothing against the European society; however, they felt the wrath of the lusting of the European society. This bothers him almost as much as the he is bothered by the lack of restraint by the white man. As the yawl continues, they are attacked by Kurtz"tms natives, Marlow looks at his helmsman. Therefore, Marlow must restrain himself, unlike all the other white men.