Essay about Analysis Of Joseph Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness

1259 Words Nov 26th, 2014 6 Pages
The river harbors a symbolic presence in Joseph Conrad 's novella, Heart of Darkness (serial, 1899; book, 1902). In these pages, Conrad observes and deconstructs the darkness of imperialism —long considered the "white man 's burden"— as an extension of his experiences in the Congo Free State (now called the Democratic Republic of Congo), then expansive personal property for Leopold II, King of Belgium (Norton 1890). Not only he denounces the abuses committed against the Africans in the name of imperialist self-interests, the book allows the reader to translate Marlow 's harrowing adventures that will confront the reader to discover their own sense of stoic darkness. As a symbol, the river is caught in the middle, corrupted within the banks of evasion of responsibility, disregard for human rights, and the violation of its natural resources. But what does the river truly represent: a Dantesque descent into the human condition, or an expression of lukewarm disengagement? Two rivers snake through the novel 's linear narrative. While the Thames swerves safely through London 's banks, the Congo hides gross exploitations and infringements. their descriptions enhance the differences between luxury and poverty, engagement and indifference, an exploration of crossing the fine line succumbing into one 's personal "heart of darkness" (Norton 1890). Either way, something interestedly human will be lost, and the river will guide man towards its own self-conscious destruction. The…

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