Behind the Name Heart of Darkness

962 words 4 pages
The significance of a title such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is easy to discover. However, in other works (for example, Measure for Measure) the full significance of the title becomes apparent to the reader only gradually.
Using Heart of Darkness, show how the significance of its title is developed through the author’s use of devices such as contrast, repetition, allusion, and point of view.

Behind The Name Heart of Darkness The heart of darkness in the title Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is the heart of Africa, the heart of everything that is the rejection of established social principles and beliefs, corrupt, and barbaric, and perhaps the heart of man. Conrad, ending the book like so: “The
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Kurtz used to be, into an ivory crazed devil. The novel may be treated as a journey by Marlow into his own subconscious mind or into the subconscious mind of all mankind. Marlow’s journey into the heart of Africa is a figurative or psychological journey that relates to the study of humankind. This journey is a descent into the dark earth, followed by a return to light: “The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; and Kurtz’s life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time. . . . I saw the time approaching when I would be left alone of the party of ‘unsound method.’”(Conrad, 84)

The novel is symbolically the story of an essentially lone journey involving a deep spiritual change in the explorer, a change of heart, so to speak. The novel certainly describes a physical journey or physical adventure. However, it is at the same time, a psychological and mystical journey. The darkness then in the Congo can be identified as many things. It is the unknown, it is the subconscious, it is also a moral darkness, it is the evil that swallows up Mr. Kurtz and it is the spiritual emptiness in which he sees at the center of


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