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Word Count: 698
In Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad relies heavily on the differences between appearances and reality to develop conflict in the story From the appearance of the ivory trade and the continent of Africa to the image of Kurtz himself Conrad clearly shows us that appearances can be deceiving As Marlow relates his story the reader is drawn into a world of contradictions These contradictions challenged the widely accepted European views of that time When Marlow begins his quest to sail his ship up the Nile river to partake in the adventure and excitement that is the ivory trade he describes the enterprise as a noble cause pg 6 Marlows aunt called him an emissary of light something like a lower sort of apostle whose purpose was to wean those ignorant millions from their horrid ways pg 10 Yet through Conrads use of diction our first image of the ivory trade is an image of darkness death and despair pieces of decaying machinery pg 12 shadows of disease and starvation picture of a massacre or a pestilence pg 14 This may have been a harsh criticism of the British colonialism in Africa and revealed the hypocrisy of those in the ivory trade who claimed to be civilizing the savages It was as unreal as everything else-as the philanthropic pretense of the whole concern The only real feeling was a desire to earn percentages pg 21 Throughout the story the African jungle is presented as a dark and alien landscape with the lurking death the hidden evil and the profound darkness of its heart pg 28 of an unknown planet pg 32 To Marlow while he was in the heart of the African jungle the earth seemed unearthly pg 32 Yet as he ventured deep into this jungle and comes into contacts with its savage natives he feels a remote kinship pg 32 with them He understands that this is his ancestry
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