Heart of Darkness

The Horror: Irony in "Heart of Darkness" 12th Grade

"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad is a very contemplative, symbolic piece of literature. Superficially, the story is about the journey of a man named Marlow, working for an ivory company and in search of adventure, deep into Sub-Saharan Africa. On a deeper level, however, the story is about the titular "darkness". It is an exploration of that word, revealing that it is all things evil that rest in the hearts of men. All of the characters in "Heart of Darkness" have been meticulously fine-tuned to provide further development on the theme of darkness. The whole of the theme can be summed up in the individual relationships of Africa and Europe to the darkness, but nonetheless, the reader must realize that not all is as initially seems in "Heart of Darkness".

Little is held back in "Heart of Darkness" in the description of Africa as a backwards, uncivilized place. This is immediately apparent as soon Marlow's description of his travels is recounted. For example, take into account Marlow's observation of Africans at the Outer Station: "They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now -- nothing but black shadows of disease and...

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