Heart of darkness: a symbolic study

Reynaldo Gonçalves

Abstract


In this paper, I intend to conduct a study of the symbolic meaning of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness by isolating and interpreting a net of symbols, which is very deftly manipulated by its author for the creation of a short, but superb, artistic expression of his appraisal of man's option
for a tragic existence. In the process of this essay I shall examine the following symbolic elements: setting and characters. I shall endeavor to establish meanings for the river, forest, town, etc. As to characters, I shall concentrate on Kurtz's, but I shall also point out important differences and similarities between his character and those of the savages, of Marlow and of the Intended. I shall use other texts written by Conrad in order to supply further evidence for interpretations offered to elements of Heart of Darkness.

Keywords


English Language; English



DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/%25x

Copyright (c) 1981 Reynaldo Gonçalves

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