The Visions Of Light And Darkness- Joseph — страница 2

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the country Marlow finds his surroundings extremely harsh: The Congo is described as a place of intense mystery whose stifling heat, whispering sounds, and strange shifts of light and darkness place the foreigner in a kind of trance which produces fundamental changes in the brain, causing acts that range from the merely bizarre to the most extreme and irrational violence. (Telegan 98) In the above mentioned quote Diane Telegan sums up the theme of light and darkness and even goes on farther to discuss the effects of it to a human. She suggests that it is the setting of the Congo that causes Kurtz to go insane. The setting causes many of the characters to go insane, ? The sun was too much for him, or the country perhaps? (Conrad 80). Marlow says this as he views the body left

hanging on the limb of a tree after the native took his own life. Marlow assumes that the native killed himself because he could not deal with life in as harsh as a setting as the Congo is. This is at the beginning of the novel before Marlow has begun on his journey within his heart. Perhaps if his journey had already begun, Marlow would have assumed that it was the darkness that he could not live with. Shortly after this scene Marlow begins his journey to the inner station. Once on the journey into the Congo it is very important to notice the transformation of the jungle itself as Marlow travels closer to Kurtz. When Marlow first enters the Congo it is not that dense with forest. The sun flows heavily through the trees causing great discomfort. Once Marlow is aboard the ship and

on his passage down the river the forest becomes more and more impenetrable. The river is dark brown and just barely flowing, the forest becomes so thick right before they reach the inner station that the men aboard the steamer could not even see the savages that would soon ambush their boat. Once at the inner station the setting alters to that of infernal worship. Marlow in the beginning of the third part of the novel describes the setting as he first encounters the inner station: I looked around, and I don?t know why, but I assure you that never, never before, did this land, this river, this jungle, the very arch of this blazing sky appear to me so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness. (Conrad 94) Just the setting itself is so

concentrated with the darkness of Kurtz that it almost consumes Marlow?s soul. It is supernatural the way that Kurtz is treated like a divine creator, his powers are infinite and he grotesquely abuses them. Kurtz had been so devoured by the darkness within himself that this led him to irrational violence. Those who displeased Kurtz would have to confront his violent wrath. The remains of these unfortunates are viewed by the rest of the cult, upon the stakes that pierce through the remains of their withered skulls. Marlow, somehow, survives his confrontation with the darkness in the Congo and conquers his fears. He is then able to return back to the light setting of civilization. The setting would not be such a significant factor of the novel if it weren?t combined with the

symbolic images located within the setting. Nearly every object of this dense book contains a deeper meaning, which in some way can be associated with the theme of light and darkness. The river is the first of these symbols to appear in the story. From the very beginning of the novel there is comparison of the two rivers which act as vessels to the inner core of the darkness. The first river is the Thames which brings life to Europe. The second river is the Congo River, which represents the ill of the uncivilized. Right away as the reader is able to visualize both settings of each river, they are able to decipher Conrad?s metaphor of civilization, representing goodness and light and the uncivilized representing evil and darkness. As the crew onboard the Nellie wait for the turn

of the tide, there are other boats floating on top of the river with their lights gleaming out over the still water. In the Congo there are no lights, only the fear of being eaten by the cannibals which hide so delicately camouflaged in the bush. Neither river is flowing during the time of the course of the story. This represents a time lapse that occurred while Marlow was going back into his mind and even farther within himself to remember the darkness, which he encountered. Perhaps the most graphic symbolic image using the river metaphor is in the ending of the book, ? The brown current (that) ran swiftly out of the heart of the darkness?? (Conrad 129). It is here that Conrad retreats from the intensity of the novel once again upon the river of the Congo whose color is as murky