Many authors use contrasting places when representing opposing ideas or forces which are central to the meaning and interpretation of the work of art. Analysis of the book “Heart of Darkness” authored by Joseph Conrad reveals numerous use contrasting places to illustrate the central meaning of the work. That is, the author uses contrasting places to depict the concepts of both civilization and the Heart of Darkness. The work of Conrad uses the African jungle and Europe to compare the contrasting state of civilization being witnessed in the two continents (Frank, p. 30).
The exact places which have been described by the author, in the text, with the aim of enriching the central meaning are the African Congo River and the Thames River in Europe (Ludwingc, p.7). The journey that the narrator takes while sailing up the Congo river represents a situation of going back into history of how White men, living along the Thames river in England, looked like in the past (Mohit, p.135). Although African, represented by the Congo river in this case, as a dark place, the Thame river has been a dark place in England. In other words, white people once lived in the dark along Thames river just like Africans along the Congo river.
Also, the text reveals that white people consider African countries as nations which are trying to be at the same level with Europe by using terms like developing nations (Mohit, p.135). Although the narrative has been that arrival of Europeans to Africa helped in civilizing the continent, world famous countries like England was once a primitive before the invasion by altruistic men from Rome conquered it and brought good to the country.
- Frank Fiorenza. (2001). Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. New Jersey: Research and Education Association Press. Pp. 30.
- Ludwingc Schnaueder. (2009). Free Will and Determinism in Joseph Conrad’s Major Novels. New York: Yale University Press. Pp. 7.
- Mohit Kumar Ray. (2006). Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. New Delhi: Nice Printing Press. Pp. 135.