Heart of Darkness Logs Essay

660 Words Apr 17th, 2013 3 Pages
Readers Logs

All throughout the book, Conrad uses images of light and dark. In the beginning, he describes the Thames as the day mixes with night as the tide is turning. Whilst in the Congo, he describes the natives as dark figures moving about. Initially, cleanly and lightly colored (both in skin and physical apparel) are considered good- as a general statement. Sometimes Conrad follows the stereotypical meanings of light and dark as good and bad, but he also strays from the stereotypes as well. The French (as ordered by Kurtz), whom are lightly colored, lay fire on Marlow’s boat without a truly reasonable explanation. The accountant (also lightly colored) simply dismisses the deaths that surround him as nuisances- even the deaths of
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The anxiety that he feels here is similar to the way he first feels upon seeing the native blacks. They are all skin and bone; their flesh acts simply as an old, dark, worn-out fabric that is used to hold their overworked inner ivory together. He is appalled at the sight of their “inhumanness.” The other imperialists are not as disturbed by this because they are more adjusted, desensitized, and callous about the environment and people they have invaded. Unlike Achebe, I think that Conrad is not a racist writer because of how he displays Marlow’s response to the decay of an inferior race.
As previously noted, having multiple narrators in a novel has its ups and downs. Yes, having multiples on one subject allows the reader to form their opinion based off several views, but why should we believe anything Marlow says or that our nameless narrator says he says? Personally, I believe that the purpose of this novella, much like the purposes of Things Fall Apart and Cry the Beloved Country, is to tell one of the many sides to a complex time in history: imperialism. Things Fall Apart is to show the introduction of imperialism to Africa; Cry the Beloved Country is to show the adaptations and consequences that natives made and underwent because of imperialism; Heart of Darkness is very different from the previous two as it shows the many different reasons and ways

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