Savagery And Symbolism In Heart Of Darkness, By Joseph Conrad

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Savage: a term often used to describe someone or something that is unruly and uncivil. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, is a novella, in which the main character, Marlow, tells of his journey to Africa, a land full of savages, to obtain imperialism. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses the Congo habitat as a symbol of darkness to aid the practice of imperialism while also being responsible for the psychologically obscure side of a man.
Conrad negatively represents Africa to symbolize that really there are two nightmares: the force of civilization and savagery. Marlow describes the way the congo looks, " But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled” (1.18) The
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Even when seeing them in a vulnerable place of slavery and non-comprehensive change, Marlow still worries about their ‘savage ways’ because the only thing Marlow knows about them would be that they are savages. Humans fear what the do not know or understand. When Marlow is recalling the first impression of the natives given by those that have made this expedition before him, he reveals the pre-assumptions coming into this expedition, “ Here was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of— ”enemies!—” page 7 chp 1. He then arrives to shore, and gives description of the …show more content…
The doctor is examination of Marlow before he goes into ‘the wild’ is the first time we really see the fear of insanity, " I always ask leave, in the interests of science, to measure the crania of those going out there," he said. "And when they come back too?" I asked. "Oh, I never see them, " he remarked; "and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know." 1.26. The acception of madness is disgraceful among Europeans. So, for there to be a chance that this uncivil nation could bring out the insane side of mankind is appalling. We then see the actual change when Marlow is walking towards Kurtz’s house and realizes just how mad he is, “ They would have been even more impressive, those heads on the stakes, if their faces had not been turned to the house.” 3.4. This quote shows that when put into an uncivil society, one loses rationality and the ability to separate morals and greed. The heads referred to in the quote are of those that Kurtz felt were his enemies. The fact that he became mad after spending months in the Congo speaks volumes to the Europeans reasoning behind forcing imperialism. It also shows the change starting to happen inside Marlow as he has become numb to the brutality. Yet still, Marlow’s view of the jungle throughout his trip did not alter, " I looked around, and I don't know why, but I assure you that never, never before, did this land, this

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