Heart of Darkness, Imagery, Symbolism & Allegory

Light and Dark

Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad, a story of a man named Marlow and his great journey to the African Congo that situated in depths. An ivory trader, named Kurtz is the target of Marlow’s search. Apparently Marlow’s journey looks like very simple, But after some time the journey reflects on his heart and soul, then takes him into the Congo. The central themes of the novel are The setting, symbols and characters, each contain light and dark images.
Through his light and dark imagery in the story; light represents civilization while darkness suggests the uncivilized. The novel starts on the deck of a boat called the Nellie, as we saw in novel how the sun is slowly fading, from light to darkness. This is the first image by Conard that’s he introduces; Marlow will faces darkness.

Conard also uses light for a civilized nation and darkness for the uncivilized nation.

Marlow gives comments that “sunlight can be made to lie, too.” In many ways  lights often gives way to darkness in the whole novel.

Two Knitting Women

Then we saw white women in London wearing black and black women in the jungle of the Congo wearing white. Both women weaving knits opposite from their own skin color. Conrad uses the two women knitting black wool as foreshadowing for Marlow’s horrific journey into the interior. Yes, we too are wondering what happened to the third Fate.


Here flies shows the symbol of death, as we saw flies around the dead bodies and he gave the nick name to devil ‘ the god of flies’. In the Heart of Darkness flies appears when Kurtz dies in chapter three and slaves dies in Chapter One.



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