“This is hell, nor am I out of it.”
Faust Imagery
in Heart of Darkness
By Uthayla Abdullah
And
Julie O’Meara
In Conrad’s jungle, demonic imagery is used
continually, showing the effects of the savage
chaos of nature on the normally orderly man.
“… but if you were man enough you would admit to
yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace
of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise,
a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which
you—you so remote from the night of first ages—
could comprehend. And why not? The mind of
man is capable of anything—because
everything is in it.”
p. 38.
Evidence of the effects of the
jungle on “the men”
• Conrad uses demonic terms in reference to the men:
– The manager has a “forked little beard,” and is referred to as a
“paper-mache Mephistopheles” whose only positive point is
his ability to maintain order in his lifestyle while in the
jungle.
– Of Kurtz, Marlow says, “He had taken a high seat amongst
the devils of the land—I mean literally.”
– “But his [Kurtz’] soul was mad. Being alone in the
wilderness, it had looked within itself and… it had gone mad.
I [Marlow] had, for my sins, I suppose, to go through the
ordeal of looking into it myself.”
pp’s 29, 49, 65.
Key Characteristics
Kurtz
• “universal genius” –
source of culture,
intelligence in jungle
• “lacked restraint in the
gratification of his
various lusts…” p. 57
• Goal: bring “the torch”
of virtue, make name for
self
• Outcome: made himself
“God” to natives,
participated in savage
customs (cannibalism)
Faustus
• Renaissance man –
already done it all…
seeks new excitement
• “The God thy serv’st is
thine own appetite.” p. 19
• Goal: money, power…
• Outcome: easily
distracted from goals,
magic used for parlor
tricks and jokes, damned
to hell
“I take it no fool ever made a bargain for his soul with the
devil. The fool is too much a fool or the devil too much
of a devil—I don’t know which. Or you may be such a
thunderingly
exalted creature as to be altogether deaf and
http://www.visi.com/%7Emarkg/atheists.html
blind to anything
but heavenly sights and sounds. Then
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/heart/
the earth for you is only a standing place… But most of us
http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~csicseri/theme06.
are neither
one nor the other.
htm
• Marlow makes clear
references to the
Heart offor
Darkness
Conrad
playwright
whichby
heJoseph
is named.
• Makes
outbytoCristopher
be a superior
being,
Dr.Kurtz
Faustus
Marlowe
too “exalted” to be on earth too long.
• “heavenly sights and sounds”
juxtaposed to demonic imagery
Download

Faust Imagery in Heart of Darkness