Joseph Conrad, the writer of the novel “ Heart of Darkness ” , uses the resistance of black and white to reflect the darkness that is present in all worlds. This psychological facet contrasts the bogus light of the European civilisation and the existent bosom of darkness. This facet is shown through Kurtz, Marlow and the native society.
From the beginning of Marlow ‘s expedition into the African Congo it is obvious that he is the consequence of the colonialist European society, which is where the first resistances of black and white evolve. Marlow understands the rule behind colonialism, but is non ready for the wilderness and the savageness of the bosom of darkness. This is most apparent when Marlow comes upon the “ grove of decease ” , where many indigens are ill and death, yet Marlow is unable to cover with this unfamiliar state of affairs. He meets a immature male child with a piece of white European narration around his cervix. In this case white is normally associated with pureness, and artlessness, yet Conrad challenges many of these premises, with the white piece of yarn used as a symbol of the immorality of colonialist patterns. The white yarn remains a changeless reminder which forms a contrast to the black kid, it looks out of topographic point and unreal, and therefore, is symbolic of the colonialist patterns. Marlow responds to the state of affairs with inquiries – “ Why? Where did he acquire it? ” ( Conrad 14 ) – showed that he had non yet come into an apprehension of the effects of imperialism on the wilderness. This is farther emphasized when he gives the kid a Swede ‘s ships biscuit, it is simply a nervous reaction to a state of affairs he can non understand or cover with. Marlow responds to his naivete this by go forthing the country, and go oning on his journey.
The Accountant, who Marlow encounters instantly after the native male child provides a blunt contrast, dressed wholly in neatly pressed white linen. This adult male is representative of the thoughts that Marlow associated with the civilisation before he enters the Congo. Marlow admires the comptroller, naming him a “ miracle ” and “ superb ” , this is because he is non tainted by the darkness – the barbarian and the barbarian nature of the Congo, and he has great devotedness to his work despite this, sayingA ” His books were in apple pie order ” . Marlow stated that, in maintaining clean and orderly, “ the adult male had verily accomplished something ” ( Conrad 15 ) . However, the Accountant, although devoted to his work lacks empathy, apparent through his neglect of the calls of deceasing indigens. The usage of white represents the political orientation of the colonialists, the facade of visible radiation, and the pristine human character, which are all challenged in Conrad ‘s reversal of these colour associations.
Furthermore, the usage of tusk throughout the novel as the chief premiss of the Company’sA concern, and ground for development, is peculiarly of import in its colour association. The tusk was obtained through the captivity of the jungle indigens by the white imperialists. In this case, the tusk represents development and maltreatment of the people of the country by the white colonialists. The fact that the tusk was obtained with usage of the black-skinned indigens, people who are profoundly connected to the nature of the jungle, farther exemplifies the function reversal of the opposing forces of white and black. The tusk is symbolic of the destructive temperament of adult male that leads to an eventual ruin, while the black colour of the indigens ‘ tegument represents the wilderness which allowed Marlow to do his self-discovering journey.
The usage of the two contrasting races, the white Europeans and the black indigens personify the resistance of white and black. The white Europeans are representative of civilisation and the ‘light ‘ of humanity, the good side which is conveying the same visible radiation to the darkness of the native African ‘s, they represent an full belief system of conveying civilisation to the ‘savages ‘ . The indigens are the victims of this system being imposed upon them ; they have strong links with the natural universe and the darkness. Although there is a degree of ferociousness and savageness in each civilization the clear differentiation is that the Whites act under the pretension of civilisation whereas the indigens do as usage and tradition. The best illustration of this is the contrast of the man-eaters and the pilgrims. The man-eaters on board Marlow ‘s steam ship are given the features of reason and decency while the civilised pilgrims are the more aggressive and violent of the two groups. While Marlow has to blow a whistling when he, “ saw the pilgrims on deck acquiring out their rifles with an air of expecting a jolly lark ” ( Conrad 62 ) the pilgrims are the 1s fixing to slaughter the technologically slower indigens, and they are the people that have to be controlled and restrained.
Kurtz is clearly representative of a similar contrast, with the thought of civilisation as a agency of forestalling adult male from returning to the darkness, clearly endorsed through the word picture. Kurtz enters the Congo as an educated and civilized adult male, yet still makes the nice into savageness. Kurtz still nevertheless maintains a double nature. While metaphorically on his deathbed, Kurtz preferred creeping on custodies and articulatio genuss back to the native cantonment to being dragged back to Europe. However, Kurtz writes a study on the indigens that is written in eloquent and civilised address, demoing his staying ties with the civilised universe he thought he had left behind. Kurtz ‘ last words were, “ The horror! The horror! ” ( Conrad 64 ) , possibly exposing his staying shelter of civilised society in contrast to the strength of the panic of the jungle. KurtzA removes himself from the restraints of civilisation and reverses his personal development into a crude province. Kurtz represents what every adult male has the possible to go if left to his ain cardinal desires without the protection of a civilised environment. Marlow is an resistance to the province Kurtz reverts to. Marlow remains a civilised adult male of high ethical motives and does n’t fall into the same lunacy or immorality as Kurtz. It is through these opposing forces, built up by the more basic resistances, that the subject of the bosom of darkness is conveyed to the reader.
Through the resistance of white and black, Joseph Conrad displays the darkness nowadays within humanity. Kurtz, Marlow, and the native society show the opposing forces of civilisation, and the pretension, or facade that humanity utilizes to defy the darkness. Conrad proves that behind every adult male there is a bosom of darkness. However, this is frequently obscured by the false “ light ” of the European society.