Heart Of Darkness And Racism Essay

Thus, white is not synonymous with good, nor black with evil, but rather both symbols are interchangeable.

Throughout the novella, white and black characters are alternately examples of acute suffering, civilized dignity, moral refinement, or violent savagery, demonstrating that no race is wholly good or evil, and that all human beings are a confusing mixture of propensities for all types of behavior.

After Kurtz's death, Marlow returns to Belgium and is visited by Kurtz's fiancée.

During the visit he lies to her about Kurtz's activities and falsely claims that he called her name before he died.

The visual imagery, which heavily depends upon contrasting patterns of light and dark, contributes most appreciably to the consistently ambiguous tone of the work.

To demonstrate the moral uncertainty of this world and of life in general, Conrad consistently alters common symbolic conceptions of light and dark.Critics identify Kurtz's death scene and Marlow's lie to Kurtz's fiancée as seminal scenes in the novella; these scenes have been subject to a wide range of critical interpretations.Many critics have commented on Conrad's evocative powers in Heart of Darkness, paying particular attention to his use of imagery, which manages to evoke a sinister atmosphere through the accretion of objectively described details of the African jungle and natives.Prior to their personal encounter, Marlow knows and admires Kurtz through his reputation and his writings regarding the civilizing of the African continent and sets out on the journey excited at the prospect of meeting him.However, Marlow's experience in Africa inspires revulsion at the dehumanizing effects of colonialism, a disgust that culminates when he discovers that Kurtz has degenerated from an enlightened civilizer into a vicious, power-hungry subjugator of the African natives.Conrad used this term in ways to identify social and intellectual elements in order to help the reader get a feel of his outlook and his own opinions of the world.The two most noticeable interpretations of “darkness” were how it symbolized racism in the world and it also symbolized the enormous impact that an uncivilized world can have on a civilized person.Spark Notes.com).” As a result, it seemed that no matter how educated the Natives became, they were still seen as being a lesser people to the whites. The light represented civilization –the civilized or “good” side of the world.And the dark represented the uncivilized and savage or “evil” side of the world.“In he unconscious mind of each of us, slumber infinite capacities for reversion and crime. 9).” No matter how civilized people are, if they were to be removed from all civilization, and placed into this wilderness of the world, the evil and darkness of their hearts would show through.And our best chance for survival, moral survival, lies in frankly recognizing these capacities (Conrad H.


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