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Word Count: 711
Throughout his narrative in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness Charlie Marlow characterizes events ideas and locations that he encounters in terms of light or darkness Embedded in Marlows parlance is an ongoing metaphor equating light with knowledge and civility and darkness with mystery and savagery When he begins his narrative Marlow equates light and therefore civility with reality believing it to be a tangible expression of mans natural state Similarly Marlow uses darkness to depict savagery as a vice having absconded with nature As Marlow continues with his story he realizes that civilization and inhumanity are very close to one another The metaphor that he has been using for light with civility and darkness with mystery transforms up to the point where Marlow has a realization of where the light reality of society is covered by the immense darkness In the end of the novel Conrad notes that the Thames leads into the heart of an immense darkness The theme of dark and light realities continues in the narrative when Marlow associates intelligence and wisdom as light dawned upon him Marlow also believes in this book that light and whitenesschivalrybravery is associated with society and civilization Marlow when beginning the story speaks of the Europeans who left the Thames River to occupy far off places He notes that they brought light into the darkness and therefore makes the connection of light and society Further along in the story Marlow begins to realize that civilization especially how he referred to it in the conquering sense is really not very light at all and is really a dark reality When Marlow first arrives in the Congo we walks through the shade and the light and meets the black slaves who are dying in darkness and the white workersmanagement in the light As the book progresses Marlow realizes that the darkness really is not the bad and that the lightwhite humans can be very dark and ominous indeed
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