The battle between light and darkness is being waged right now, in every corner of the earth. This war has been fought since time began. In every realm of society, opposites counterbalance each other. The balance of powers in the government allows the American people to have a say in the political happenings of the country, while the balance of mass and gravity keeps Earth in orbit around the sun. A balanced diet keeps a person healthy, while a balanced scale portrays equality and justice in the world of lawmaking and law enforcement. In the realm of physics, action and reaction are required to obtain balance, proving it cannot be acquired by mere passiveness. The necessity of balance is also true of every other set of opposites. This proposal, deemed by Florence Ridley as the balance of opposites, a core of faith versus hollowness light versus darkness, is inherent to the meaning of Heart of Darkness
[...] This darkness is seen in the grove of death and the somber oil sketch of the woman in black at one of the stations. The Company itself is a whitewashed sepulcher, dealing out sickness, slavery, and death under the guise of civilization. By the end of his tale, Marlow knows the Company for what it is- a whitewashed tomb. In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outsides but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean” (Mt. [...]
[...] The constant struggle between light and darkness depicted in “Heart of Darkness” is just one illustration of the balance of opposites present in the world. In the many symbols of light and darkness in this story, Conrad portrays the vast, vain attempt of the darkness to overcome the light. The symbolism embodied in the teetering balance of light, darkness, and the whitewashed façade of hypocrisy gives the narrative an imagery of gloom and a depth of meaning that provokes any curious mind to consider it. [...]
[...] In Marlow's first few days there, a “grove of death” catches his attention and seems to invade his heart, causing him to ponder the reality of the darkness in this new world (Conrad 2341). His first world of light, freedom, and civilization seems forever lost, for by the end of his story, the “heart of immense darkness” has reached across the sea to the very boat in which he tells his story (Conrad 2386). The contrast between the civilized world and the world of dark savagery allows for a powerful symbolism of darkness against light. [...]
[...] These opposing forces of light and darkness can be clearly seen in the fact that Kurtz completely succumbs to the darkness, while Marlow resists and ultimately triumphs over the darkness. Kurtz flees from Marlow once he is found, “gone to rejoin the native orgies” and completely appalling Marlow (Ridley 46). Marlow, however, does not succumb to the temptations of the darkness. He finds escape and steadiness in his devotion to his work. He also finds the book by Towson, which “reflecting as it does a man's absorption in his trade, can for a moment defend Marlow from the darkness” (Ridley 48). [...]
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