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Conrad Critical Analysis


Submitted By DaveSanta98
Words 1460
Pages 6
David Santamaria
Ms. Pasonelli
AP English
7 November 2015
Light vs Darkness: The Irony within Heart of Darkness Through history there has always been a battle between good and evil, light and dark, the innocent and the guilty. Many times authors, spanning over a wide range of genres have embedded this battle into their stories. Joseph Conrad, did just that in his creation of Heart of Darkness. Amongst the deep jungles of the Congo River, Conrad places Marlow into a world where darkness dominates everyday life. Marlow throughout the story is seen to have pure intentions and can be seen as a symbol of light, whereas Kurtz who has been amongst the heart of the Congo for various years, can be seen as the embodiment of darkness. Now, the distinction of light and dark, good and evil, innocent and guilty, is not only represented between Marlow and Kurtz, but also by Kurtz’s intended and his mistress of the darkness from Africa. Conrad in the depiction of these characters uses irony to show that light is representative of ignorance and naivety whereas darkness is the embodiment of the truth and experience. To be naïve is to show lack of experience. This trait lies at the heart of every man and woman as well as boy and girl. Naivety goes hand in hand with ignorance and can often be seen as an embodiment of innocence as well as purity, which are representative of light. Marlow within Heart of Darkness, ultimately proves to be naïve as well as ignorant throughout various times in the book. Which is representative of how Conrad uses irony to depict the symbols of light within the story as representing these traits of innocence. During Marlow’s journey through Africa when he first hears of Kurtz he says, “There were rumors that a very important station was in jeopardy… Hang Mr. Kurtz, I thought” (Conrad, 79).This alone shows Marlow to be ignorant and naïve seeing that

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