Heart of Darkness

Length: 4 Pages 890 Words

When considering a work of literature, the title can be just as important as the context of the story. Literary devices such as contrast and repetition help develop the symbolism of Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness. The use of contrast can be seen within the differences between the black and white people along with the differences between the civilized and uncivilized. The phrase "Heart of Darkness" itself is repetitious to describe certain places, events, and people. Joseph Conrad successfully relates his title to the African continent, the people, how the people were treated, and the soul of Kurtz. The title can relate to the wilderness in the center of Africa where Marlow is headed. In the story, the commander sees England as many men viewed Africa. It is a "sea the colour of lead" and "sky the color of smoke" which conveys the place as dark and gloomy. Furthermore, Englishmen wanted to colonize Africa and they were willing to sacrifice their lives for the journey. Marlow shows that wilderness really isn't a place for men to be. The sheer size of "darkness" makes the people powerless, despite the fact that they feel that they can mak Continue...


The darkness of Africa collides with Europe's evils through the impact of Kurtz's final statement. Through it all, the darkness provides many challenges for the civilizers and as a result, their conditions become worse, causing them to achieve very little. Wilderness is a very significant symbol because it is not only the background in which the story takes place, but almost a "character" of the story. Once Kurtz is cut off from civilization, it brings out his dark side. The bookeeper states that the natives aren't criminals, but are being treated as if they are. " These natives are faced with evil and seem to have no power to overcome these powers. At the same time, he respects the book keeper for his looks while not despising him for his indifference.