Heart of Darkness Themes

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is one in every of the best works in English literature. Wherever setting plays a significant role in upholding the theme. In this novella none of the themes is explicit in the surface of the story, rather, here, the different themes are encapsulated with the different aspects of the story and one of them is the setting.

In Heart of Darkness, many aspects of the setting offer a symbolic interpretation of its theme. The story starts with the time setting of the sun-setting episode and also the place is that the deck of Nellie anchored at the seashore. This very coming darkness of the evening. When the night is about to appear, indicates the coming of evil. In fact, it is a mood focusing beginning adopting such a fine start towards the “Heart of Darkness". Evil is the main key issue among the themes.
Heart of Darkness Themes

Theme of evil in Heart of Darkness

All the themes are somehow similar or interrelated to each other with their evil bond. Here, I even from the title of the novel, we get an idea of the kinds of themes there might be it is the “Heart of Darkness"-the centre of corruption, greed, primitiveness,, brutality, mystery etc. And all these are the thematic issues here integrated with the different settings of the story. The different geographical setting of Heart of Darkness can generally be classified into two major groups. One is Europe and the other in Africa -the first is the place where we get the corrupt civilization of the white people and the second is the place of primitive darkness.

Though the main attraction of the novel is Congo in Africa. The European corrupt white setting cannot also be ignored for its thematic importance in upholding the inner ugliness of the civilized European people. By the proper rule. Marlow is not supposed to a job at the ship, but he gets that only because of his aunty interference. Such thematic issues of the inner corruption of the white people are placed in the European civilization. Actually, the city of Brussels symbolizes inner evil. The darker soul of the white civilized people.

To Marlow, Brussels is the whitened sepulchre, which is outwardly pleasant and holy but inwardly rotten. In fact, I the whole of the then European was rotten to the core. Which is suggested here in this setting. And, I thus this place become a symbol of the degeneracy of the white men. Africa, the opposite geographical setting within the novel the darker rudeness and to initiate this theme.

Theme of Darkness in Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad has introduced here the deep and dark forest of Congo. In this setting, people are also dark. There is not the slightest touch of civilization. The full primitiveness is there. Even the white people who have gone there to civilize that area have also become primitive in this dark setting as if the white people have lost their civilized value when they are placed in the dark and with the dark. This very dark setting can again be categorized into two steps as the geography is concerned. One is the outer station and the other is the inner station. Both the place are dark, but the inner is darker than the outer one darker in two. According to the depth of the jungle and also according to the evil acts.

The Much darker action is there in the inner station than that of the outer the darker the setting, the viler the theme in the outer station. Marlow needs rivets to the ship but didn't get a single. He is told by the station in charge that there is no rivet in the station, where there are too many. Moreover, the conspiring conversation that Marlow hears in the dark night symbolically represents the evil of the time and of the place. Everything is like a muddle there. And, in the inner station, there is much more corruption and greed for wealth and power.

It is the inner station wherever individual like Kurtz being announced as associate nursing ivory supply agent rejects to provide the expensive ivories and starts his own ivory business. Not only that, but he also starts to practice his evil power over the natives. He becomes so powerful over the natives that he is almost a god to them. And, I the most striking thing is his main motto for going to the Dark Continent was to civilize the area, but in spite of doing so, he himself has turned into a primitiveness person. No doubt, it is a unique style to produce such a theme of primitiveness with evil power, greed, and corruption in such a dark area. If the total area is the body of darkness, the inner station is the “Heart ” the centre of all the evils that “Darkness ” associate.

In Heart of Darkness, the jungle or the forest has been presented as a matter of the profound dark setting. The jungle and all that it signifies in this novella is a symbol of evil, I the major thematic issues. The jungle has been described as “lurking death ”profound darkness and evil. The vegetation imagery means much more than female menace, it means the truth the darkness, the evil, the death, which lies with us, which we must recognize in order to be truly alive.

The jungle, here, is like a cage that society has made for Kurtz. Cannibalism and sexual perversion exist in the jungle, and behind every bush, death is lurking. This deep jungle setting also indicates the mystery of human life, which remains as the unfolded riddle to us. We understand that Kurtz is staying in the inner station, in the dark centre, only because of the fact that he is greedy for wealth and power.

But one general issue also pinches our mind. Example being originated and brought up in a materially civilized society. Kurtz, in his early life, was supposed to get the material comfort, which now, he is deprived of. the weather for which he stays in the dark African forest cannot give him any sort of material comfort and security. Then, whey is he staying here in the deep jungle with the uncivilized native Africans? Is it mainly because of the power that he can practice here? Or, is there something else behind the surface facts?

He is so greedy that even after his death, his mouth remains open-open for hunger open to greed. Why does a man become so? all these are the unanswered questions. And, these are the mysteries of life in the HEART OF DARKNESS. We, the readers, are simply amazed to get a such a devilish thematic effect in such a mysterious setting In fact, in Heart of Darkness, darkness its heart give an idea, which associates and relates the themes with the symbolic aspects of the difference of the story.
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