Thursday, September 19, 2019

Heart Of Darkness :: essays research papers fc

Throughout the story, Heart of Darkness, there is a thin line between what is seen as reality and what is illusion. The main character soon realizes that he has different interpretations of events and physical things than that of the Europeans. Charlie Marlow first realizes how many things, events and even people, in Africa, seemed misnamed by the Europeans, distorting them from what they truly are. Consequently he is wary of labeling something in case he might misname it and as a result devalue it. In the end, Kurtz, who has already reached enlightenment, will be the one to teach Marlow, though not directly, the significance of a name. Charlie Marlow is the only one to be referred to by his name because through his journey to the inner station and consequent enlightenment, he alone, with Kurtz, have realized the importance of a name and therefore deserve to have one attached to them, as they are really the only people of actual importance and meaning. As soon as Marlow reaches the c oast of Africa, he realizes a difference in the perception of certain events by him and his comrades on the boat. As Marlow’s boat pulls up to the Outer Station, he sees a man-of-war shelling the continent, which is quickly clarified, by a pilgrim, to be a front against "a camp of natives - he called them enemies! - hidden out of sight somewhere" (Conrad 78) Marlow felt a "touch of insanity" in the whole concept of shelling the natives, who had done nothing to be considered enemies or criminals and had very likely fled the area a long time ago. Yet the Europeans feel that the natives are truly a threat and must be controlled. Further along, Marlow meets a pilgrim who is called the brick-maker, yet promptly notices that there is "not a scrap of brick anywhere in the station". This is another example of how something, in this case the brick-maker, is misnamed, as he is not actually a brick-maker since he does not make any bricks at all, and therefo re really has no purpose there. A final example of how things are misnamed and distorted is pertaining to Kurtz. Firstly, "kurtz" means short, yet to Marlow, the man appears to be "seven feet long" (Conrad 135). Likewise, when the uncle and the nephew talk about Kurtz, who Marlow has heard to be a great and remarkable man, they only refer to him as "that man" and "scoundrel".

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