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Word Count: 1,442
In just the opening pages of Heart of Darkness Conrads aptitude as a writer becomes abundantly clear for the subliminal nature of his writing is constantly sustained Conrad begins Marlows journey into the heart of darkness on the Thames on the yawl Nellie with a short prologue which contains subtle use of imagery and a brilliant evocation of the atmosphere that prepares a reader for the prevailing themes of the novel Each setting in the novel is in fact a microcosm of the larger construction of Heart of Darkness and a reader is continually reminded by the repetition of the phrase brooding gloom the noun haze and the adjective dark that the novel is full mystery and exploration through the impenetrable darkness as it were As a reader transgresses through the novel he or she is continually taken back to the paradoxical title Heart of Darkness The title in itself is very suggestive for the noun heart is in a literal sense characteristic of pure substance and is very distinct and on a metaphorical level it conveys that the novel works on an emotional scale On the other hand the adjective darkness displays something much more inconclusive and equivocal just like Marlow Therefore a readers first expectations are rather inexpressible because one is put a half-state where the clear literal meaning of heart is set against the ambiguity of the darkness The darkness in the novel works on both the characters and the readers where it highlights the states of confusion and incomprehension of the mind It seems upon darkness things become less brilliant but more profound Our expectations about the novel are flooded with ideas of the unknown a journey into darkness in search of mystery and adventure However these expectations are soon depleted amongst the first lines of the novel where a reader learns that the journey is taking place on the Thames on a cruising yawl Nellie Everything seems to be still
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