Symbols in Heart of Darkness

A look at symbols of nature and man in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

This paper explores the symbols of man and nature in Joseph Conrad’s classic criticism on British imperialism in Africa, Heart of Darkness. The paper discusses the most popular interpretation of this text that is the internal psychological battle between man’s lower and higher nature. The paper also includes a personal response to the work.
For example, our human battles with nature, have been won on many fronts. With hour minds, we have been able to invent technologies that allow us to fly, float, and speed through the telephone lines in milli-seconds. But the war is still one by nature because all it takes is a simple thunderstorm to disable our ships, planes and computer systems.
The student should notice the structure of the first paragraph in this analysis. It takes the reader from the real physical aspect of the opening scene: a ship sinking anchor on The Thames. There is a discussion of the eternal archetype of man in conflict with nature. There is a quote then of corroboration by a critic and then specific examples are given towards this end and also a further example that applies to our present day and time.”