While sailing up the Congo River from one station to another, the captain became ill and Conrad assumed command. He guided the ship up the tributary Lualaba River to the trading company's innermost station, Kinduin Eastern Kongo. The story's main narrator, Charles Marlow, has similar experiences to the author himself. When Conrad began to write the novella, eight years after returning from Africa, he drew inspiration from his travel journals.
He never really goes on land but watches the shore from the outside. The only time he goes on shore he finds a wasteland. For Marlow the jungle of the Congo is representative of evil that man is capable of.
In Heart of Darkness, it seems that the further Marlow travels into the jungle, the deeper he looks into himself. All this time is spent on the Congo River as he looks from the outside. This is symbolic as he is looking at his soul from the outside but never really sees himself until he goes on land to get Kurtz.
When he arrives on land is symbolic of when he looks the deepest into himself.
He goes to find Kurtz on his deathbed and is given he choice to take over for him as a god among an African tribe.
Marlow is faced with the ultimate choice between good and evil. For a moment it is uncertain what choice Marlow will make. But, unlike Kurtz, Marlow picks the good over evil, as he rescues Kurtz back to the steamer. The fact that Marlow sailed along the Congo River, around the jungle, and not actually into the jungle is an important symbol also.
Marlow never walks the path that Kurtz did to self-destruction. He went around the jungle to avoid getting captured by evil.
Kurtz was a decent Englishman until he gave into the desires of his heart of darkness. Kurtz spent all his time in the jungle and eventually forgot all of his self-control, manners, and upbringing. He truly looked in the deepest part of himself and found that his evil desires would reign.
Congo River Heart of Darkness We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. How fast would you like to get it? We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. This is symbolic because he was deep inside the jungle. In this respect Conrad uses to men to show the reader both the good and bad of humankind.
He shows the true evil and good that man is capable of If proper restraints had been there would Kurtz have done things differently?
The fact that no one was around to keep Kurtz in check helped him succeed in becoming capable of the immense evil he became.
Marlow had his shipmates there to keep him responsible.
|Heart of Darkness—A Summary | torosgazete.com||See Article History This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica.|
He was face to face with himself and his human desires, but as he looked at Kurtz and what the evil had done to him he saw the consequences of choosing evil. In the beginning of the novel, Marlow talks of things as if they are happening far away from him and not actually happening close by which represents that he is on the outside looking in.
He also talks about a fog that settles over the river. This fog represents a distortion of what lies ahead. As he makes his decisions based on what he thinks is right but really he has no idea of what will happen to him or his crew. As the novel progresses the reader will start to understand all of these themes and symbols that the Congo River represents.
It represents the shedding of layers of the soul and taking a look into the desires of the heart.
By the end it seams as though the reader has taken a look into their own soul to find out what ultimately dominates them. Will they find themselves to be a Marlow; a person who exercises their capacity for good, or will they find themselves to be a Kurtz; a person capable of an immense heart of darkness?Jan 18, · The river plays a vital role in the novel, "Heart of Darkness".
The river allows access into the interior of Africa, or more commonly known at this time as the 'dark continent'. The river also acts as a divider, keeping Marlow separated from the natives and the evil ways of Kurtz. Ooh, ooh, we've got this one: the Congo is like a snake, one of the oldest symbols of evil and deception.
But Marlow is fascinated by it, hypnotized like a "silly little bird." We guess he just can't look away.
Heart of Darkness centers around Marlow, an introspective sailor, and his journey up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, reputed to be an idealistic man of great abilities.
Marlow takes a job as a riverboat captain with the Company, a Belgian concern organized to trade in the Congo.
Congo River Heart of Darkness The Meaning of the Congo River for Marlow, the journey on the Congo River is one of the most difficult and ominous journeys he will ever take.
The fact that it takes him around and not completely into the jungle is significant of Marlow’s psychological journey as well. The Congo River forms in a country that was known as the Congo Free State in the late 19th torosgazete.com name of the country chance several times in the 20th century and is known today as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Congo River in Heart of Darkness has multiple purposes. Without it, the story could never have happened, because of the river's importance in the British ivory trade.
It literally moves the characters towards their destination, as well .