The Inner Darkness - Nick Cheng (12) A1 English Heart of...

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Nick Cheng (12) A1 English Heart of Darkness The Inner Darkness Conrad’s novel “Heart of Darkness” revolves around the journey of Marlow into Congo, the heart of Africa, to meet Kurtz. As the novel progresses, it can be noted that darkness lies in everyone to a certain extent. The darkness can be defined as the greed (for ivory), losing self control when law and order is no longer present, or the vicious way of life as shown by the natives. This darkness only surfaces when given the right environment. Once the darkness surfaces itself, one is given the opportunity to experience spiritual growth, gain knowledge and self-control from it. One must also put past experience and knowledge in use to prevent the darkness from taking over and to defeat the darkness once it emerges. Although everyone has inner darkness in their hearts, there is also a sense of pure goodness within them. Conrad has used Marlow in “Heart of Darkness” to show his journey into his inner darkness and the rewarding knowledge he gained from defeating it. Kurtz, on the other hand, falls into the darkness for he lacks self-control. By contrasting two characters, Conrad has shown the consequences when one fail to control one’s inner evil. Lack of civility, anarchy, ignoring decisions to make and tests in life or the journey of life itself eventually causes the inner darkness to emerge. Moreover, Conrad has cleverly integrated literary elements such as imagery and diction to portray Congo as the place that allows one’s inner darkness to emerge. When law and order no longer protects society from chaos and anarchy, people too, descend into anarchy for the evilness within them are no longer overpowered by restraints and barriers, thus people
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starts to lose civility. This is represented as Congo in “Heart of Darkness”. Congo is portrayed as a place
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This note was uploaded on 06/02/2011 for the course ENGLISH 45B, 001 taught by Professor Altieri during the Fall '11 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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The Inner Darkness - Nick Cheng (12) A1 English Heart of...

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