Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness

How Does the Use of Description and Metaphorical Devices Create the Theme in Heart of Darkness?
Mankind’s sanity, morality, and reality all serve as key elements in justifying the way society lives and acts; when those three pillars are turned upside into a hazy, grey picture the boundaries and constraints in which humankind lives become limitless. This terrifying abyss of a land enables ruthless behavior, insensitivity, and moral doubt amongst the land’s inhabitants. Joseph Conrad successfully creates this horrific image within every reader’s mind in his novel, Heart of Darkness. His unerring ability to describe every detail of the human exploration of a grotesque, immoral African river allows the reader to feel the self-doubt presented to the ones exploring the dark lands. Joseph Conrad emphasizes the agony of internal fright, moral confusion, and human isolation through detailed descriptions of environment and experience to create a theme of darkness that peels back the layers of the multifaceted human mind in his novel, Heart of Darkness.
Józef Teodor Conrad Korzeniowski was born December 3, 1857, in the Russian occupied Berdyczów, Ukraine (Merriman). Joseph was an only child, and his family was under tight Russian surveillance during his youth. In 1861, Joseph’s mother and father were arrested for their involvement with Anti-Russian organizations. Russian officials exiled the family, and Joseph’s parents died of tuberculosis in the Russian province, Vologda, due to harsh living conditions (Merriman). Joseph was four years old, and without parents. Joseph’s uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski, cared for him until his adulthood. Joseph’s uncle arranged plans for Joseph’s education, but it is said that Joseph never took to the formality of tutoring. Joseph not only gave his tutor a difficult time, but also shared his future goals with him. “His frustrated tutor soon learned that from an early age he yearned to travel on the seas and go to the ‘dark continent’ of...