Heart Of Darkness

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Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness utilizes light and dark to shape his character’s beliefs and actions during the period of Belgian imperialism. For centuries, light and dark have been common motifs in literature, used to depict the subconscious personality of characters. Conrad uses the contrast of light and dark to highlight both the power and oppression felt during Belgian imperialism in the African Congo, resulting in a change of character in Marlow and Mr. Kurtz. In Thomas Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, darkness is equated to blindness. Foster writes that “When literal blindness, sight, darkness, and light are introduced into a story, it is nearly always the case that figurative seeing and blindness are at work” (Foster 204). The supposed darkness that tempts Marlow and Mr. Kurtz manifests itself in their blindness to the oppression that they are imposing. The light, on the other hand, represents the clear vision between Brussels and the heart of…show more content…
In Greek mythology, the moirai are a group of women that sew together the fate of man. These fates, as they are known, are shown in the beginning of the story as two innocent old ladies knitting what could become the fate of Marlow and Mr. Kurtz: darkness and evil. On the other hand, white is known for representing purity, dating back to Roman times. Priestesses and men wore white togas that represented their purity and innocence, much like the town of Brussels in Heart of Darkness. The story begins in the “whited sepulchre” of Brussels, Belgium. Conrad uses this term to reference that King Leopold II’s actions of providing of humanitarian aid to the people of the Congo are really just the opposite. Much like the Romans, on the outside the country and imperialists stand for pure, innocent people that just want to help the Congolese. On the inside however, the Belgians are oppressing the culture of the

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