Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and the Christian version of Adam and Eve are closely related in that they both describe the journey from innocence to experience. Marlow, the African jungle, and Kurtz can be compared to the characters (Adam, Satan, and Christ) from the story of Adam and Eve. The temptation of exploring the deep dark jungle, the knowledge of the white man’s burden, the self-discovery and growth of Marlow, as well as his salvation, all relate to the concepts found in the story from the bible.
Based around Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden after being convinced by Satan to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, the story of Adam and Eve illustrates what happens when Adam disobeys God and is faced with the consequences. Similar to Adam, in Heart of Darkness Marlow is also faced with temptation and then, in a way, “banished” for his sin. The only difference between Adam and Marlow is that Adam wanted to stay in the Garden after his banishment, while Marlow in a way banished himself from the company as a result of his sudden fascination with the jungle. Giving in to the temptation of the jungle
The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. " (Conrad 138) Marlow and Adam can be seen as two men that gave in to their temptations, however unlike Adam, Marlow was proud of becoming an outcast, and he had no regrets. Nevertheless, his temptation and curiosity caused by the actual jungle, is seen as Satan, as he leaves the company to explore it and as a result is turned against, and becomes one of the "unsound. " This new broadening of his knowledge eventually leads to his salvation. Christ takes upon himself the sins of mankind, and Adam gains knowledge and experience from the situation. and the discovery of the natives, he describes his interest with the cannibals, "" I looked at them as you would on any human being with a curiosity of their impulse, motives, capacities, weaknesses"" (Conrad 112). Kurtz, who can be seen as Christ, "rescues" Marlow when he utters his last words, "The horror! The horror!" (Conrad 148). Resembling Adam"tms curiosity of the forbidden apple from the tree of knowledge, the native"tms lives fascinate Marlow, however his wonder is restricted, or "forbidden" by the company. " Outside influences, the jungle and Kurtz, cause this inner change, and have an impact on his life. He comes to realize the cruelty and immorality of treating people as if they are meant to be shaped and formed into what society sees as "normal" or "proper. Causing him to learn and discover the secrets that lie in the jungle, his attraction to something different from what he was accustomed to, helped him become moral through doing something that was immoral or unaccepted. After Marlow commits his "sin" and the company turns against him, he discovers new things about the white man"tms burden. Although Kurtz was described as "a prodigy" an emissary of pity and science and progress, and devil knows what else. After he was banished from the Garden for his act, he gained knowledge of new things in his life. Once again, Conrad reflects this in Heart of Darkness through Marlow.