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 Russian's restraint has something to do with his naivete, his starry-eyed view of Kurtz and his religious background. 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. Marlow declares the restraint of the cannibals a mystery. In his malarial state, Marlow hopes they find him worthy of their consumption! They certainly appear to be a specific tacit condemnation of Kurtz. This particular difference identifies the source of restraint as something deeper than anything else in the common psyche of savage man’s ability does or ci...

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RESTRAINT AS A PLOT IN CONRAD’S HEART OF DARKNESS . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:10, January 20, 2017, from