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Texts discussed Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad A River Sutra by Gita Mehta and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain A river in everyday usage is seen as little more than a flow of water The composers of my chosen texts however have taken the motif of rivers in a different perspective and have used this motif in their works to show how rivers can influence the imagination or govern the lives of the people around them The different ways this motif has been used reflects the composers individual perspective on the rivers derived from the influence of his or her culture the literary techniques used and the context in which they were written The texts I have chosen are Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad A River Sutra by Gita Mehta and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain In all three texts the featured rivers are predominant in the structure and storyline The rivers are depicted as having a significant influence on the people around them In the opening paragraphs of Heart of Darkness we are introduced to the Thames River the first river featured in this text which is resting as Conrad depicts at the decline of day after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks Conrad goes on to describe the river as venerable suggesting his respect and gratitude towards the river and its means of transport and trade The river providing a service reinforces the idea of it influencing and governing the lives of the people around it However the actual story takes place on the River Congo the very antithesis of the Thames The river motif is important as it presents the degradation of culture as we are taken deeper into the heart of Africa and away from civilisation to a lack or loss of civilisation This shows how the river has governed the lives of the people
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