Heart of Darkness
“Heart of Darkness” includes a lot of symbols which are very significant, firstly, the title of the novel “Heart of Darkness” is a symbol of the darkness in every man of us which is hidden inside every one of us, however, when removed from civilized society, evil will be released. When Kurtz went to the Congo river, his evil is shown, he is removed from the civilized society, he becomes worse than the African natives themselves. Thus, Kurtz himself is a symbol of what a man will become if he’s left to his own desire without restraint (the idea of restraint is applied on Kurtz).
As the white man moves deeper into the heart of Africa, the European morals and ideals are changed by the native culture.
Ivory is a symbol of the evil of the colonial discourse. It is a symbol of the darkness that lies on the African lands attracting the Europeans to it. Searching of Ivory changes Kurtz whose journey ends in “horror, horror”. Moreover, the torch that the woman holds in the portrait is a symbol of “supposedly enlighted ideas”, that are covered by the umbrella of “white’s man’s mission” yet, it aims at exploiting the African riches and slaughtering the Africans. The Congo River is a symbol of pre-history primitives where there are neither restraints nor civilization. It is the place where all evil potentialities are released. The words “horror, horror” at the end of the story symbolize the future relation between both the colonizer and the colonized.
A Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad tells the story of a man's journey through parts of Africa while confronting his fears of insanity, failure, death, and cultural contamination. The man, Marlow, being the protagonist had to overcome inner fears, the antagonist. It begins with Marlow and a group of men with well-respected professions in a ship on the Thames River. He begins to speak about an ...
There are also names which symbolize certain features in every character, for example, the manager, whose name signifies that he is the ability of managing, but ironically, he can’t manage anything. Furthermore, the accountant who really knows how to steal and plans for stealing, he is selfish, he doesn’t care about the natives. The Brick maker, like the rest, is an ironical man, he has nothing to do with anything, he is lazy, and doesn’t have what he builds with the tools.
There is another symbol represented in Marlow himself who is a representation of the mythical figure who goes through a long journey of discovery till he discovers that the horror lies in the relation between the colonizers and the colonized. He goes through a journey full of obstacles conquering the evil till he reaches the truth.
The girl or Kurtz’s fiancée is an image of all women in general who are always accused of being illusioned. In a digression, he speaks about woman in general. The letter sent by Kurtz to his fiancée, this letter is a symbol of admission that the civilized should be good to the African natives. He begins the letter by saying that the whites are more civilized than the black people. The savages see the white men as their gods. This letter is considered a report that symbolized Kurtz’s idealism. He didn’t read the end of the letter because; he wants to keep the promise to his friend.