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Significance of Opening Scene in Heart of Darkness Essay

  • Submitted by: dbburden
  • on March 24, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 571 words

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Below is an essay on "Significance of Opening Scene in Heart of Darkness" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

3. A
The opening scene in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the setting of the sun going down over the sea as the narrator Marlow is riding on a ship I believe to be going to Africa based on the imperialism of the book. The setting of the sun is a symbol for both the British Empire and imperialism in general. Conrad’s choice of diction and imagery help set the stage for a beautiful scene but yet we know to be just the point of view of one man while others look towards a darker path.
Conrad starts off this opening by saying, “The Nellie, a cruising yawl.” Which notably is the name of the ship and a description of how big and bold the ship is along with how it appears to maneuver. Though seemingly big we still understand it as being a very calm and peaceful type o feeling the way Conrad portrays it in his passage. But the real symbol is not the ship but the setting sun that lies before Marlow and the beauty it conveys but yet its symbol for what lies ahead for the British Empire. “In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint” representing how far they would go to expand and build there empire. A representation if you would say that means they could stretch as far as they want just like the sea stretches all the way out to the point where the sun looks as though it were welded against the sea. Also, “in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in the red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished spirits.” Thus representing the power and control that imperialism brings and of the power that the British Empire actually had over where they expanded. More so seemingly as a symbol that there power touched spirits that were in the sky because they had so much and so much control and strength. While also saying “Brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.” I believe this to be a direct statement towards the great city London which is the place...

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