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An Analysis of the Motif of Shoes in Heart of Darkness
Transcript of An Analysis of the Motif of Shoes in Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness
Textual Evidence - Phase 1
"The whole population
expecting all kinds of
to happen, while, on the other hand, the steamer Fresleven commanded left also in a
, in charge of the engineer,
. Afterwards nobody seemed to trouble much about Fresleven's
till I got out
stepped into his shoes
couldn't let it rest
, though, but when an
offered at last to meet my
growing through his ribs
enough to hide his
Textual Evidence - Phase 2
"To tell you the truth, I was
to change my
shoes and socks
murmured the fellow immensely
'No doubt about it,'
said I tugging
Textual Evidence - Phase 3
"I couldn't have been been more
if I had travelled all this way for the
flung one shoe overboard
that that was exactly what I had been looking forward to--
a talk with
In Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, the motif of shoes is utilized as a characterization device of the protagonist, Marlow, who undergoes a metamorphosis in which he loses and regains his identity on his journey through the wilderness of Africa and the Company.
What is your favorite type of shoe?
Textual Evidence - Phase 3 Continued
went flying into the
of that river. I thought,
. We are
; he has
gift has vanished
by means of some
spear, arrow, or club
. I will never hear that chap speak after all--and my
had a startling
extravagance of emotion
, even such as I had noticed in the
of these savages in the bush." (47)
What is this called?
Conrad places importance in shoes in this novel in order to demonstrate the various pathways that Marlow could have taken and ultimately chose to take. Although Marlow initially craved and chose the path of the Company through the shoes of Fresleven, he was eventually able to escape the legacy of insanity and rage that both Fresleven and Kurtz left for him by finding his own shoes to leave footprints behind with.
has gone in out of sight after making a frightful
my shoes were full
pool of blood
lay very still gleaming
under the wheel" (46)