The Heart of Darkness and The Road both reflect the adversities and battle of a apparently ineffectual journey where the result remains predominately elusive to those characters with a lame but noncompliant hope. Therefore it can be argued that both novels represent non merely a physical journey but besides a metaphorical one. The journey theoretical account can be seen as ideally suited for both novels as it offers the truest trial of optimism, that against the ever-immersing dark the potency for pureness and goodness holds a glance of hope.
The Heart of Darkness is set during the last two decennaries of the nineteenth century when European states competed to colonise and in bend ‘civilize ‘ the African continent. In the Heart of Darkness this is linked to the ‘Belgian Congo ‘ , believed to hold contained some of the most barbarous intervention of the native Africans, which was in portion experienced by Joseph Conrad who worked as a pilot on a Belgian steamer. In this sense the physical journey is, within a framed narrative, the first storyteller stating us Marlow ‘s narrative of his journey into the Congo. The thought of a framed narration besides creates the feeling of being taken deeper and deeper into the narrative by a telescoping procedure, which suggests a similar thought of Marlow diging farther into the psychological battle he endures. The reader is besides reminded that it is retrospective and this allows Marlow to to the full reflect on his journey and research how it has affected him. This is supported by the first storyteller live overing his ain journey noticing at the terminal that the Thames leads “ into the bosom of an huge darkness ” .
The construct of a journey is besides reflected geographically, with the Thames playing as the scene of the narrative, in itself a historical trading path to the different ports of the British Empire, while Marlow uses Brussels as a starting point for his physical journey and the physician ‘s warnings of the emotional and psychological effects on western colonialists to bode Marlow ‘s journey through the Congo. However, Conrad is intentionally broad. Even where topographic point names are mentioned, such as ‘Gran Bassam ‘ and ‘Little Popo ‘ they seem designed to raise up the sense of a instead alien facade alternatively of a more factual and geographical world. This is farther apparent when Marlow goes to see the Company central office where no reference is made of the European metropolis he is in apart from his ain description “ whited burial chamber ” . This suggests that Marlow ‘s geographical rovings can be besides read as a metaphorical journey of self-discovery.
Conrad ‘s usage of linguistic communication helps to stress the physical strength of the journey. He demonstrates this through vivid and barbarous personification of the landscape ; it is a topographic point where “ the mist itself had screamed ” , “ the shrub began to ululate ” . This animalism is besides reflected in his elaborate description of the indigens, “ I made out, deep in the tangled somberness, bare chests, weaponries, legs, glowering eyes- the shrub was teeming with human limbs ” , and his dramatic word picture of Kurtz, “ I could see the coop of his ribs all astir, the castanetss of his arm wavingaˆ¦an animated image of decease carved out of old tusk ” .
From a contextual point of view, Heart of Darkness reflects a physical invasion of western colonialism.
The Road on the other manus takes topographic point in a post-apocalyptic scene where the staying universe is left “ thin and disintegrating into nothingness ” . The lone mention to the catastrophe being. ” A long shear of visible radiation and so a series of low concussions ” .
The male parent and boy ‘s physical journey is more obvious and is rooted in human endurance “ This is what the good cats do. They keep seeking. They do n’t give up ” . The general frame of the journey in The Road is the male parent and boy ‘s nonsubjective to make the east seashore of the US. On a actual degree, their purpose is to make the sea, while at each phase ; the journey is the battle for endurance and the male parent ‘s challenge to continue his boy ‘s life.
Right from the beginning, the male parent senses the breakability of their end, “ He knew that he was puting hopes where he ‘d no ground to. He hoped it would be brighter where for all he knew the universe grew darker day-to-day. ” However, fragile or non, the end of the seashore lends a construction to their roving.
McCarthy besides uses distinguishable item to continually underscore the animalism of their journey. For illustration the simple gap of a jar is no longer routine “ he knelt and placed the first jar sideways in the infinite between the door and the jamb and pulled the door against it. Then he squatted in the anteroom floor and hooked his pes over the outside border of the door and pulled it against the palpebra and twisted the jar in his custodies. ”
Although the physical nature of the journeys within both novels play an of import portion, they are structurally used to reflect a more symbolic significance of each novel. The thought of metaphorical journeys, helps to heighten and supply a footing for the characters ‘ personal patterned advance.
This is most apparent in The Road, with the male parent and the male child stand foring two different positions on endurance. The male child suggests a more corporate journey ; about continuing all signifiers of life in the minute, which contrasts with that of the male parent ‘s single journey, that steadfastly embodies the present universe. The male child ‘s corporate journey is echoed by his belief to convey people with him “ if we had that small babe it could travel with us ” . He goes on to propose similar sentiments to the immature male child and the Canis familiaris, while besides seeking to convert his male parent for Ely to travel with them. His desire to include others on their journey reflects a corporate attack to survival. On the other manus, the male parent ‘s misgiving of people makes their journey that of the person, the lone adult male on “ some last venture at the border of the universe ” . This creates inevitable isolation, which, nevertheless, is indispensable in order to last.
The thought of survival therefore becomes a cardinal subject to the novel. The male parent insists upon it: “ We ‘re subsisters ” , the married woman nevertheless, has a different mentality on their quandary “ We ‘re the walking dead in a horror movie ” .
The dismissal of his married woman ‘s disapprobation suggests the endurance inherent aptitude within the male parent. However, Ely, the old adult male they meet on the route, puts what constitutes lasting into inquiry.
He says, “ If something had happened and we were subsisters and we met on the route so we ‘d hold something to speak about. But we ‘re non. So we do n’t ” . Harmonizing to Ely, although they may still be alive, they are yet to hold genuinely survived the catastrophe. Ely and the female parent both suggest that merely the simple thought of avoiding decease is non plenty. To them, mere survival by agencies of flying or going is futile, if there is no topographic point of sanctuary at the terminal of the journey. Therefore they see the journey is non progression as promotion but instead empty motion.
The construct of clip entwined with the journey adds a farther bed of complexness to metaphorical facets of The Road.
The combination of the journey theoretical account with the post-apocalyptic vision evokes a additive construct of clip. This construct places by, present, and hereafter along a way, where a sense of clip go throughing Markss any progress along the way. In The Road this is peculiarly apparent as clip base on ballss without mention and merely like most things in the novel it excessively has become nonmeaningful and hollow, “ The twenty-four hours providential to itself. The hr. There is no subsequently. This is subsequently. ” The way besides allows us, from our current place, to look in front into the hereafter or reminisce on the yesteryear. This thought is suggested through the male parent ‘s remembrances, but his memories are no more relevant to the immediate minute than dreams. Both occur in brief glances that momently pull the reader off from the cold world of the present. The male parent provides a ground for distrusting dreams: “ And the dreams so rich in coloring material. How else would decease name you? Waking in the cold morning it all turned to ash immediately, like certain antediluvian frescoes entombed for centuries all of a sudden exposed to the twenty-four hours. ”
The cardinal metaphorical reading of the Heart of Darkness is Marlow ‘s journey of self-discovery. Marlow ‘s descent into the Congo, “ I was approximately to put off for the Centre of the universe ” , is a clear indicant of his intended geographic expedition into the inside, “ The alterations take topographic point indoors, you know ” . Marlow frequently reiterates that he is telling such a journey and points out he did non cognize himself before puting out, the Inner Station “ was the farthest point of pilotage and the climaxing point of my experience ” , while besides trusting that it would give him a opportunity to ‘find ‘ himself. Marlow ‘s journey, nevertheless, is driven out of a wonder for the enigma environing Kurtz an unobserved agent who had left ‘the soft Satan ‘ of the Central station and “ equipped with moral thoughts of some kind ” , had non returned. This journey is besides submersed in the metaphors of visible radiation and dark. Considered contextually the premise that the colonialists are conveying the visible radiation to the darkness of Africa. However, this position is reversed by Marlow, who considers the greed and maliciousness of the ‘interlopers ‘ to be at the root of ‘the darkness ‘ , “ It was like a weary pilgrim’s journey amongst intimations for incubuss ” . This is foreshadowed when Marlow describes London, the bosom of the colonialist imperium, to be engulfed in a “ incubation somberness ” .
While on the journey Conrad often portrays Marlow in an about dreamlike province, as if he is diging into his ain consciousness “ It seems to me I am seeking to state you a dream doing a vain effort, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation ” . This introverted position additions in significance the closer he gets to Kurtz, adding a bed of tenseness to the aura already environing him. Marlow ‘s arrested development with Kurtz seems to stem from a powerful attractive force to something within him, something that Kurtz embodies and dramatizes. To Marlow, Kurtz represents a hero figure, a adult male who let himself be engulfed by the darkness and dip into the deepnesss of human savageness, who had shown him the bounds of the moral spirit while besides disregarding the visible radiation as if to withstand the very nature of human conditioning. It is this captivation that even in the darkest cavity of human being one may happen a sense of pureness, a “ supreme minute of complete cognition ” that becomes lighting to those that witness it, “ that could non see the visible radiation of the taper, but was broad plenty to perforate all the Black Marias of the existence ” . In kernel, Kurtz defines Marlow ‘s journey of self-discovery. To understand this one needs to hold on what Marlow has genuinely discovered. Unlike Kurtz, Marlow possesses an ‘inborn strength ‘ . He has the agencies, when the external limitations of society are removed, to non step “ over the border ” and defy the enticement of a diminution into bestiality and crude emotions. As for Kurtz whose psyche knows “ no restraint, no religion, and no fright ” , he is penetrated by the wilderness “ echoed aloud within him because he was hollow at the nucleus ” . In comparing to Kurtz, Marlow evades “ the horror! ” while deriving sight “ of a glimpsed truth ” to go a more wise adult male. This alteration in him, this fulfillment of himself, is apparent on his return to Europe, where Marlow now sees ordinary people as “ interlopers whose cognition of life was to me an annoying pretension because I felt so certain they could non perchance cognize the things I knew ” . In this sense Marlow ‘s metaphorical journey is complete.
The implicit in subject of both physical and religious endurance seems to be the outstanding characteristic of the metaphorical and physical journeys endured by the chief characters. The journeys themselves show that when the restraints of society are stripped off and the universe is torn between moral struggle, it is those that possess the ability to maintain clasp of their humanity that are finally the true subsisters who reach the journey ‘s terminal.
“ It was a minute of victory for the wilderness, an invading and vindictive haste which, it seemed to me, I would hold to maintain back entirely for the redemption of another psyche. ”
Titus Moore 2000 words