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Symbolism in the Heart of Darkness

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A presentation prepared by one of my classmates. I have done no editing at all, I'm just uploading the presentation as it is. (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)

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Symbolism in the Heart of Darkness

  1. 1. “ Heart of Darkness”
  2. 2. A literary term which refers to the use of symbols in literature. <ul><li>Purpose-either to illustrate a point or to say something which is not admissible in plain language. </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic poets often used titles which suggested a much larger and more mysterious range of implications than their work’s overt subject apparently justified. </li></ul><ul><li>“All the great creations of literature have been symbolic” </li></ul><ul><li>(Marlow) </li></ul>
  3. 3. More deeper meanings in the novel than that are found on the surface <ul><li>In certain passages he elaborates his imagery so as to give a new dimension to the descriptive writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Writer wants to make reader see the vivid facts and the truth behind these facts. </li></ul><ul><li>The external details are vivid in themselves which had a strong meaning in themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>“ heart of darkness” symbolically means the inmost region of man’s mind on inmost depths of man’s soul. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Title Heart Of Darkness <ul><li>Every person and every thing mean more than what we find on superficial view. </li></ul><ul><li>Through his novel he certainly wanted to make us realize the vivid facts of story. </li></ul><ul><li>These vivid facts are an obscure revelation of truth which lies behind them. </li></ul>
  5. 5. characters <ul><li>Kurtz —greed and commercial mentality of whitemen.he symbolises the whitemen’s love for power. </li></ul><ul><li>His last words “the horror,the horror” depict the darkness of human soul. </li></ul><ul><li>His desire to collect more wealth represents the exploitation of backward people by white colonizers. </li></ul><ul><li>Symbol of whites’failure in africa. </li></ul><ul><li>He stands for a repentant sinner. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Marlow —a philosophical approach to human life </li></ul><ul><li>Knitting women- --fate who determine the future of every human being.they feel Marlow realizw that they are kniyying shroud for dead body. </li></ul><ul><li>Manager ----spiritual emptiness.he is certainly not nefficient. </li></ul>
  7. 7. symbols <ul><li>Congo river- --journey into one’s inner spirit.as Marlow progresses further up the river,he learns more and more about himself. </li></ul><ul><li>Ivory ---greed and destructive nature of man </li></ul><ul><li>Brussels —inner corruption of whitemen </li></ul><ul><li>Marlow’s journey —journey into the subconscious mind of mankind.It is a psychological and mystical journey. </li></ul><ul><li>Colours ---represent territorial claims of various countries on the African territory. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Vivid facts and the truth behind these facts <ul><li>Each detail has a symbolic value which depends and enriches the emotional and moral values. </li></ul><ul><li>There is “infinite in finite” </li></ul><ul><li>Journey to innerself and soul </li></ul>