The Visions Of Light And Darkness- Joseph — страница 3

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and mysterious as the secrets which it keeps. Elaine Ward thought that this quote was: Perhaps the ultimate description of the savagery and uncivilization of the Congo as Marlow and Kurtz try to quickly escape the savagery and death of the Congo. With their escape and these words comes the title of the book, Heart of Darkness (Ward, webpage 1) The symbolic image of the reader was so significant and profound that it does become the title of the novel. It is this title, Heart of Darkness, which offers a first impression to the reader that suggest the novel contains deeper interpretations beyond their literal meanings. The novel is densely composed with much symbolism. The title is just one example of a piece of symbolism, which contains many different meanings: ?The ?heart of

darkness? serves both as an image of the interior workings of the mind of a man, which are dark and foreign to all observers. The literal journey into the jungle is a metaphor, or a symbol, for the journey into the uncharted human soul. On another level, the voyage into the wilderness can be read as a voyage back to Eden, or to the very beginning of the world. On still another level, the actual trip into and then out of the African continent can be seen as metaphor for sin and redemption. (Telegen 98) Here the several different meanings of the novel are clearly stated and supported by different events which take place during the journey. The story itself is a symbol or a metaphorical journey into the darkness of the human heart. As Marlow journey?s down the river into the heart

of the Congo, he is also on a journey into the depths of heart and discovers things such as evil and darkness which he never knew existed. The main character, Marlow, is a symbol for the author, Joseph Conrad who also during his life went on a voyage into the Congo and had nearly an identical experience to that of Marlow. The objects which appear in the novel are similar in content, most have multiple, contrary meanings. Ivory is one symbol which is found in the heart of the Congo, or in the heart of Marlow. This image has a role which is just as superior as the river. Ivory is an aspect of the novel which is very complex as it contains many different meanings and can be interpreted in many different ways. It holds a different meaning depending on whether or not it is in a

relationship with another aspect of the novel, such as that with the white men. The first way to examine this symbol is by taking into deliberation its appearance and its derivation. Ivory is a pearl white color. Generally, white represents light, goodness, and purity. Before man placed a value over this object all these qualities were true. Ivory comes from the tusks of male elephants which are large, powerful, and wild creatures, giving ivory a sense of life. These elephants can be found in the heart of Africa were the natural way thrives and civilization has not yet destroyed and industrialized. This is a dark place because it is so mysterious and unknown. Then the white men came from Europe with greed in their hearts and souls to colonized and depleted Africa of its natural

beauty and assets. The life of a man or animal should be held much higher than of a non-living object. When the greed of the white men took over, the value of ivory became equal with that of any native or animal. In Heart of Darkness the pure, white ivory represents the greed, darkness, and evil in the white man?s soul. It is in this aspect that the images of light and dark contrast with not only each other but also themselves as white is no longer a representation of light. Conrad?s first description of the power of the ivory clearly depicts the profound effect the jewel has over the white men: Everything else in the station was in a muddle?heads, things, and buildings. Strings of dusty niggers with splay feet arrived and departed; a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy

cottons, beads, and brass wire set into the depths of the darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory. (Conrad 29) This paragraph describes how much the white men are willing to sacrifice for wealth. Much of which they are sacrificing is not even theirs. So much is given to the effort of obtaining the ivory that the need for ivory becomes an obsession rather than an occupation. It is Kurtz?s obsession for ivory which drove him farther and farther into the heart of the Congo. It is here that he becomes insane and no longer is consuming by the means of greed, but it is greed that consumes him (Telegen 97). The greed, which is caused by the ivory, is the driving force of evil within the novel. Another symbol which occurs in the novel but it frequently overlooked is that