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Heart Of Darkness Digital Essay

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Ann Masline

on 7 March 2011

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Transcript of Heart Of Darkness Digital Essay

We all fill our own particular niches in life. Whether it is a lion feeding off of its prey in the wild, or a postman delivering mail in a community, we fulfill the job required, in hopes of creating a stable community. Salmon, for example must swim back upstream to spawn. Though chaotic and deadly, their quest up the river is part of the ecosystem, allowing the strongest to survive, fulfilling their role in the stable ecosystem they strive to keep in balance. As in the case of the salmon, it is evident that though individually, niches may be chaotic, because they are fulfilling their role, they are contributing to overall stability and order. Kurtz turned out to be a fraud, but filled the niche of Marlow's guiding light. Simalarly, the company manager's only redeeming characteristic was his ability to survive, yet was able flourish in the imperialist structure. Because these men fit the roles society expected of them, they were able to create a sense of hope and structure. HEART OF DARKNESS In the business cycle, though destructive, a recession is “normal”. This is because after a recession comes the trough period, then recovery, then peak, and finally another recession. It is not each section of the cycle that defines its greatness, but rather a combination of the parts together. Because the recession, though disastrous and unpredictable in capacity or length fits its prescribed role, it is an important ingredient in the order of the system as a whole. As Ralph Waldo Emerson states, “… the theory of the world is a thing of shreds and patches,” as opposed to a thing of continuous silk. The chaos Marlow faces in the form of natives and eventually the revelation that Kurtz is nothing but a fraud, are simply the shreds and patches that are sewn together to create a reason for his journey into the center of the forest, and the imperialist's final product, as seen with the mahogany door at Kurtz's fiance's house. Throughout the book, unclarity and disorder are always a prominent character; whether it be the thick fog on the river, protesting natives, the boat breaking down, or the helmsmen’s blood over Marlow’s shows, the story never goes as swiftly as the natives or imperialists hope. Like the river, though filled with unpredictable twists and turns, the story is always moving forward, in a predictable manner. As with the double pendulum, when seen at a singular moment, the pendulum seems chaotic, but in fact, there are a series of mathematical equations to predicts its every movement. On the surface, in larger context, the imperialism was a seemingly orderly machine that produced an abundance of mahogany doors and ivory. But if looked at deeper, it is evident that each system was comprised of people and events much darker and more chaotic than the production as a whole. Though the process is best said by Kurtz on his death bed as "the horror" (139), chaos is overlooked, as seen when Marlow revises Kurtz's last words to be his fiance's name. Just as the hull of the boat is slowly being degraded, so is the foundation of the imperialists, culminated with the death of Kurtz and revelation that he wasn't the almighty man he was said to be. Though this degradation is prominent throughout the book, the progression, stable cycle and thriving ecosystem are simply facades-- a crisp white suite-- in a time when even the most highly regarded people in the community are the most savage. “Discipline without freedom is tyranny. Freedom without discipline is chaos.” –Cullen Hightower http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX4MydrcO1k&feature=related If the embedded video doesn't work...
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