The Symbolic Art in Heart of Darkness

330 Words2 Pages
Joseph Conrad is a fascinating literary figure in English literature. Though born and raised as a foreigner, Conrad established himself as a recognized master of the art of the English novel. During his writing career, Conrad wrote 13 novels, 2 volumes of memoirs, and 28 short stories. His major novels include An Outcast of the Islands; Youth; The secret Agent. Among his many works, Heart of Darkness is best-known and it is among the most frequently anthologized stories in English literature. Heart of Darkness records a journey into the darkest part of the human soul. The trip starts symbolically from the Thames as the cargo ship gradually sails into the jungles of the African Congo. In this works, the dilation of humanity and the decline of moral values are deeply expressed under the lack of social rules. Chinese famous writer Lu Xun once said:”The pang and chagrin originated from the oppression of life is the resource of literature, which is expressed by generalized symbolism.” Under this circumstance, symbolism is selected by writers to be exerted in this novel to expose what they want to say. Besides, Critic Water says:”since the appearance of this novel, the every moment, the every word recorded by letters becomes a definite symbol.” Symbol usually has two kinds. One is very common and is usually used in realistic works. For example, red rose symbolizes love. The other is that the author endows unique meanings to a specific thing, which often take a significant place in modern works. In Heart of Darkness, the author adopts the latter. He himself puts an emphasis on symbol and regards that literary works should not be one obvious conclusion, but the rich layer achieved in meaning through the art of symbolism. Conrad utilizes the technique of symbol, leaving the story much room for the reader to imagine and to recreate the text for themselves. The title
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