CSS Forums Wednesday, September 24, 2014
05:23 AM (GMT +5)
 
 
Home   Beginner's Guide   Rules   Syllabus   Past Papers   CSP Members  

Go Back   CSS Forums > CSS Optional subjects > Group I > English Literature

English Literature Notes and Topics on Eng.Literature here


Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Last Island's Avatar
Royal Queen of Literature
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Acedemic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: AppreciationBest Moderator Award: Awarded for censoring all swearing and keeping posts in order. - Issue reason: Best ModGold Medal: Awarded to those members with  maximum number of  reputation points. - Issue reason: For the year 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011Member of the Year: Awarded to those community members who have made invaluable contributions to the Community in the particular year - Issue reason: 2008Diligent Service Medal: Awarded upon completion of 5 years of dedicated services and contribution to the community. - Issue reason: More than 5 years of dedicated servicesModerator: Ribbon awarded to moderators of the forum - Issue reason:
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Forest of Fallen Stars
Posts: 6,893
Thanks: 2,112
Thanked 13,555 Times in 4,343 Posts
Last Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardomLast Island is headed toward stardom
Default Heart of Darkness: Theme of Evil

Evil has a tangible reality in “Heart of Darkness” and it dominates the novel manifesting itself in several ways. At the very outset Marlow refers to the ancient Roman conquest of Britain who used only brute force. They grabbed what they could get. It was just “robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale”. Marlow then says that the conquest of any territory by any nation means the taking that territory away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than the conquerors. This talk by Marlow pertains to the evil of conquest, and to the brutality and the slaughter which any military conquest necessitates.

There is a hint of evil in Marlow’s reference to the city of Brussels as a “whited sepulcher”. The phrase “whited sepulcher” means a place which is outwardly pleasant and righteous but which is inwardly corrupt and evil. The evil character of this city is emphasized when Marlow points out that the Belgian conquerors were running an over-sea empire in the Congo and making no end of coin by trade. Then there is a hint of evil in Marlow’s description of the two women knitting black wool.

In the outer room the two women knitted black wool, feverishly.

These knitting-women remind us of the mythological Fates constantly busy in spinning the yarn of human destiny. They seemed to him to be guarding the door of darkness and knitting black wool as of to make a shroud. When Marlow is about to set out on his voyage, he feels that, instead of going to the centre of a continent, he is going to the centre of the earth. Such a remark also hints at the evil which exists in this universe.

Marlow’s descriptions of the natural scenery which he witnesses in the course of his voyage have a strong suggestion of evil in them. Indeed, the wilderness and the thick forest seem to be the abode of evil. Marlow sees a huge jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black. The sun is fierce and the land seems to glisten and drop with steam. He speaks of the empty stream, the great silence, and the impenetrable forest in which the air is warm, thick, heavy and sluggish. There is no joy in the brilliance of the sunshine here.

And the river was there – fascinating – deadly – like a snake.

Marlow’s steamer penetrates deeper and deeper into the “heart of darkness” and the very earth seems unearthly. Marlow’s narration heightens our sense of evil which is lurking in the forest behind the millions and millions of trees.

The other sights also suggest the existence of evil. At one point, Marlow sees a warship anchored off the coast and firing its guns without having any target in view. The firing seems to be absolutely aimless and futile. He sees several trading posts where “the merry dance of death and trade” goes on “in a still and earthy atmosphere” resembling that of an over-heated tomb. He sees a lot of people, mostly black and naked.

A lot of people, mostly black and naked, moved about like ants.

At one place, a rock is being blasted with gunpowder even though this it does not stand in the way of the railway line which is to be laid. Then he sees the horrible sight of a chain-gang. Men in this chain-gang are criminals who have been sentenced to hard labour.

I could see every rib, the joints of their limbs were like knots in a rope; each had an iron collar on his neck,
and all were connected together with a chain whose bights swung between them, rhythmically clinking.

Marlow remarks that he had previously seen the devil of violence, the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire. He was seeing the “devil of rapacious and pitiless folly”.

The white men, whom Marlow encounters in Congo, by no means provide any relief to Marlow. These men, cowardly civilized, are actually degenerate fellows. There is no goodness in them at all. The manager of the Central Station is a wicked fellow who can inspire neither fear, nor love, nor respect but only uneasiness. Marlow says that there was “nothing within” this man. The white agents are seen loitering about idly, talking maliciously and scheming against one another. The brick-maker is the manager’s spy who keeps a watch upon the other white men at the Central Station. Marlow describes this man as a “papier-mâché Mephistopheles” meaning that his man is a veritable devil, but a follow kind of devil. The white men, who have come to civilize the natives, are only exploiters having no regard for the welfare of the savages.

Evil is the keynote of the latter portion of the novel in which Marlow records his impressions of Mr. Kurtz. He has been told that Mr. Kurtz is a “remarkable man” who is expected to rise at a very high position because he has been collecting more ivory than all the other agents taken together. Ivory had become a passion and an obsession with Mr. Kurtz which shows the man’s extreme greed. He has begun to identify himself with the native savages. He presides over their midnight dances which always end with “unspeakable rites”. This means that he has begun to take pleasure in the shedding of the blood of human beings, in sexual orgies, in sexual perversions and in similar other practices. In short, Mr. Kurtz has become evil incarnate. Even when Mr. Kurtz is being taken to Europe for medical treatment, he slips away from the ship into the jungle. When Mr. Kurtz is dying, he utters the words:

“The horror! The horror!”

The portrayal of Mr. Kurtz is perhaps even more important in this novel for this portrayal of a civilized man is meant to convey Conrad's own ideas about evil. Conrad believes that there is much evil in the savages. He does not believe in the existence of the “noble savage”. The barbarian customs of the savages are certainly horrifying to him. Because of his prolonged stay with the savages Mr. Kurtz become a devil. Conrad says that the western man should beware of falling a prey to the barbarism of the savages whom he conquers. Conrad depicts the savages in a favourable light too, but it is fully alive to the obnoxious customs of the savages and warns the western white men against the menace of those customs. Conrad's other message is that the white man should civilize the savages instead of exploiting them to fulfill his own greed.
__________________
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Last Island For This Useful Post:
mimi sh (Saturday, February 22, 2014)
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
EDS- notes Predator Everyday Science Notes 69 Monday, November 19, 2012 09:34 AM
King Lear ( SHAKESPEARE) complete Ahmad Bilal English Literature 2 Monday, December 06, 2010 08:15 AM
alchemist by paulo choelo (int. best seller) dr.junaid References and Recommendations 12 Wednesday, April 22, 2009 05:37 PM
Shakespeare's Sonnets Last Island English Poetry 0 Thursday, December 21, 2006 04:05 AM
The Heart & Blood Circulation Eram Khan Everyday Science Notes 7 Saturday, March 11, 2006 08:51 PM


CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: This is not the official website of Federal Public Service Commission Pakistan. This is a non-commercial website helping individuals who intend to join civil service of Pakistan. The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only. We do not claim that the site is an exhaustive compilation of information about Civil Service of Pakistan neither represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any information, content contained on, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any page of this website. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete or up to date. However, honest efforts have been made to provide comprehensive information for the benefit of users. The documents and material displayed or mentioned on this site are not official copies. Please contact FPSC for updated rules and regulations governing CSS examination.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.