The Symbolism Of Darkness

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To some, darkness is only the absence of light. However, many see the dark as an important symbol for evil in both life and literature. For some characters, the darkness is a place they can be free from social inhibitions and the behaviors. Darkness is also a symbol for the darker side of human nature. Many people have some level of apprehension in situations with darkness because of the ambiguity and naivety it makes them feel. When a setting is dark, the mood of a story is suspenseful and creepy to match the essence of darkness. In “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell and “Strawberry Spring” by Stephen King, darkness is used to enhance the the true horror of their tales.
While the setting of these two stories varies widely from college
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Many people fear the dark because the dark can be dangerous. Darkness causes one to feel unaware and unsafe which engenders a suspenseful mood. In “Strawberry Spring,” several people are killed by Springheel Jack at night. The unknowing victims in the story are relatable to any reader who has been alone in the dark. There is an eerie feeling, and a suspicion that someone is waiting there in the darkness through which one cannot see. When the characters in “Strawberry Spring” “looked into each other 's faces and tried to read the darkness behind one of them” (King 3), they were fearing for themselves which is demonstrated by their caution and paranoia for those around them. Also, in “The Most Dangerous Game” the mood is largely set by the dramatic change in the characters at night. Both Rainsford and General Zaroff kill in the darkness. Rainsford likely becomes a thrill driven killer after spending time with the maniac that is Zaroff. It is disturbing and surprising to a reader that a character might change their morals so easily when in the darkness. Zaroff does many things one would call creepy while hunting Rainsford at night. He smiles the sick smile only a murderer could and plays with his human prey, not caring for the fact that lives are in his hand. Darkness in stories can often make the reader afraid and uncomfortable because of the eerie, scary mood it …show more content…
Darkness is by definition the absence of light, and therefore hinders the inability to see. The characters in “The Most Dangerous Game,” namely General Zaroff, and the narrator from “Strawberry Spring” are different people in the daylight then they are at night. Zaroff is a proper person by the light of day in every sense of the term. He speaks properly, dresses properly, and behaves properly. Zaroff says, "We do our best to preserve the amenities of civilization here. Please forgive any lapses” (Connell 5). This is ironic considering he kills people. Zaroff’s violence is purposefully concealed by the night where there is no one to to discover what he does. The darkness is a symbol for Zaroff 's two sided personality and his actions that are displayed when the night arrives. The narrator and killer from “Strawberry Spring” is not as proper as Zaroff is. However, the unaware part of him behaves in a manner that is so ambiguous that it causes suspicion. His immoral behavior is not apparent to himself because he behaves at night and under the cover of the fog. The fog and darkness are a symbol for the the ability of the narrator to hide his own actions from himself. The narrator has no memory of killing and does not think he is “Springheel Jack.” In this instance, the darkness symbolizes one’s unawareness of their behaviors and motives. On the other hand, the darkness in “The Most Dangerous Game” represents the

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