Imagery, Symbolism and Motif in 'Heart of Darkness' Essay
One of the key aspects in the Novella is the way in which Conrad explores the depths of imagery, motif and symbolism. Arguably the biggest motif explored in …show more content…
Conrad fills the whole novella with symbolic aspects of light and darkness, which plays the central role in Heart of Darkness. Both Africa and England share connotations of darkness, “a sea the color of lead, a sky the color of smoke, a kind of ship about as rigid as a concertina – “. Through the use of such words like “lead” and “smoke”, Conrad emphasises a true darkness to the setting. Darkness stands for the purity and innocence of the natives, whereas light symbolises the corruption, greed and exploitation of the white men.
The contrast between light and dark parallels the idea of civilized and uncivilized. The light represents the civilization of the white men and the dark representing the uncivilized, almost savage lives of the natives. It makes the reader question which civilization really possesses the darkness. Marlow wants to give “light” to all the Africans living in ignorance, educate them and gain control over them.
Marlow suggests that the uncivilized savages degrade Europeans by placing them in the Congo and removing them from their “civilized”