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Ambiguilty and meaning in the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - Essay Example

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Summary
Joseph Conrad’s book Heart of Darkness is a complex read because of the way Conrad uses ambiguity in the novel so that its theme and plot are not clear cut. …
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Ambiguilty and meaning in the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Download file to see previous pages... No, not very clear" (21). There are several sub-meanings in the novel that can be interpreted in several ways. The story in itself was narrated in a non-conventional way that there was a story within a story adding to the ambiguity of the narrative. But the most prominent ambiguity in the novel is moral ambiguity because its standard and application in the novel was uncertain that it is difficult to tell what constitutes right and wrong, good and evil because these standards were unclear and not easily understood in the novel. One of the most prominent ambiguity in the novel is Kurtz and the circumstances about him. Marlow first heard about Kurtz during a meeting with the accountant of the Company on his way to Congo making him a subject of a subject in a novel or a story of a story as Marlow, the protagonist of the story narrates about him. At first Marlow was somewhat impressed by the reputation Kurtz as he was described as “very remarkable person” (37) in the novel. But as the novel progresses and as more information was revealed about him, his character becomes blurry that it is difficult to describe his circumstances. ...
And perhaps being a novel, maybe device some unusual way to extract vengeance from him for his brutality. But no, he was strangely revered by the natives and was even treated like a god. In his deathbed, natives even surrounded him when Marlow paid Kurtz a visit. And even he felt kinship with the natives that the attack on Marlow’s boat was made with the prodding of Kurtz as revealed by the Russian trader so that Kurtz will not be found and perhaps, to be left alone with the natives. These circumstances blur the logical sequence of morality that you will be hated if you harm people. Instead, Kurtz seemed to be adored by the natives whom he used to slaughter for ivory. The use of words and description of places is also ambiguous that made the novel quite difficult to understand. Congo which is a part of Africa and Africa in general was referred to as the real heart of darkness as the title of the novel suggests but it is also described to be not as dark and gloomy as the colonists place such as London and Belgium. This run counters to the common view that we are accustomed with that Africa was supposed to be uncivilized and therefore darker and the Europeans which were supposed to be educated and civilize were supposed to be the bearer of light. But this was negated in the narrative because it was Europe that was darker and not the heart of darkness which was Congo. Here, the standard of what is morally desirable is blurred because the place that was assigned to be the heart of darkness was not after all darker but in fact better than Europe which we used to think as civilized. The ending of the novel was also ambiguous. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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