The theme of a mans search for identity in joseph conrads heart of darkness

However, whilst the juxtaposing civilised and primitive state of these continents is emphatic, parallels between the two settings also exist and are explored as the readers become more immersed in the adventure story.

Another equally important theme is a journey to the self-discovery. She is of the opinion that the major objective of the colonization is to civilize the nonwhites of the interior of Africa.

Nature maintains the physical and metaphorical barrier between the two continents that enhances the hierarchical distinction between European and African identity. The nonwhites are geographically exploited in the name of colonization; their territory is taken into the control of whites, which results in the restriction of their physical freedom.

The dying and the starved natives are the symbols of the negligence and indifference of whites towards the natives. Kurtz unconsciously descended into the realm of the subconscious.

By narrating the outer journey to Congo the novelist indirectly hints at the inner Journey. His identity and race as a European imperialist cannot protect him from the moral corruption he is not only susceptible to, but in fact embodies.

However, setting plays an ambiguous but prominent role in expressing complex ideas about identity and otherness that undermine this essentialism that the novella exhibits. By reaching a geographic Congo by making an outer journey, it is possible to reach the center of our inner Congo.

Heart of Darkness is undoubtedly the story of a journey within. In its attempt and desire to denounce imperialism, there is a negligence towards the actual victims of this oppression as they are completely devoid of characterisation and identity.

In his famous novella Heart of Darkness, he deals with some important themes like, colonialism and its effect, a journey to self-discovery, pretenses of colonialism, and the meaninglessness of evil.

Kurtz does not hide the truth from Marlow and says that he does not tame and civilize the natives, but suppresses them and he forcefully takes ivory from them. Kurtz, one representative of white, cannot restrain his moral self in the process of colonizing and has himself become one of the savages.

This scrutiny of the European identity, that is affirmed in the closing lines, leads to its demise in Heart of Darkness as Conrad appears to be making a statement about human nature.

As an outer Congo is full of fear, terror, savagery and forces of temptation, so is our Congo full of dark forces. The natives are treated and addressed merely as an object. Kurtz descended into the subconscious. Darkness infuses both landscapes and appears to symbolise a sort of moral corruption that all characters, regardless of race, are susceptible to.

The chained are criminals who have violated the rules set by whites and soon they will face the death penalty. To reach the bottom-line of our inner Congo it is, according to Conrad, necessary to make an outer journey to literal Congo.

Themes in Heart of Darkness

In the narration of Marlow, Conrad mentions the Roman conquest and thereby establishes the truth that the colonialism existed since the early period of human civilization.

The last but not the least theme of the novel is meaninglessness of the evil. He surrenders himself to the suppressed darkness of heart, his own primitive self which is more barbaric than the natives.

It is not his benevolent service to the backward people, but his domination. This is an extreme type of dehumanization of the nonwhites. The aimless firing in the forest and the purposeless bombing of the rocks are futility of the works that the whites are carrying on in the African interiors.

But actually what they do is colonize and their inhuman and harsh treatment is suppression to the nonwhites of the inner land. The description of the scene provides sufficient facts that the natives and their land and resources are unnecessarily exploited by the so called agents of civilization.

He made an inner journey cautiously because he had made a cautious outer journey to Congo. Racial otherness in the novella, therefore, is synonymous with barbarism, primitivism and the complete antithesis of the distinguished and elite European national identity.

The people who work for the Company state that whatever they do is a trade, and their way of treating to the natives are work of compassion. Despite the geographical difference, the readers no longer see the civilised and primitive or the European and racial other.

Therefore, Conrad and his novella are exhibiting the very Orientalism and Western ignorance that contributed to the success of imperialism in the first place, despite his efforts to critique it. The mission of the whites to civilize and educate the nonwhites are like sugar coated pills which is outwardly sweet but inwardly too bitter to digest.

On the contrary, Kurtz was devoured by the dark forces in the subconscious.

Heart of Darkness

Therefore, the metaphorical barrier between Europe and Africa is finally dismantled and the notions of Western inherent supremacy called into question. Our Congo is a manifestation of inner Congo. Due to his durable moral goodness, Marlow even tried to save Kurtz from his inner malaise.

He justifies his deed under the cover saying that he is bringing light in the lives of savages, but the irony is that he is overshadowed by the darkness of his own self, the primitive self.

He is untouched by the effects of the prevailing darkness of Africa, though enchanted by its mystical power. Heart of Darkness treats identity as a reward which is only granted to those who are privileged by their Western ancestry.Feb 08,  · How are identity and ‘otherness’ presented and explored in Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’?

Heart of Darkness exhibits a problematic yet progressive depiction of identity and ‘otherness.’ The novella epitomises the inevitability of conflicting attitudes and ambiguity arising when a text is attempting to revolutionise notions.

Themes in Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad's works generally deal with the themes of pursuit of meaning in a mysterious world, the separation of self in the new society, and the struggle between the civilization and barbarity. The Theme of a Man's Search for Identity in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness PAGES 1.

WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: heart of darkness, joseph conrad, charlie marlow.

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(Click the themes infographic to download.) For someone who wrote a lot of big words, Conrad seems to have some serious doubts about the power of language. In Heart of Darkness, words are always. Test your knowledge of Heart of Darkness with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on the context and background and.

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The theme of a mans search for identity in joseph conrads heart of darkness
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