Blank Essay, Research Paper
Joesph Conrads short story the Lagoon, irony is irrelivant in the form of Arsat. He has worked so
hard to accomplish happiness, and in the long run, all of his work and striving resulted to nothing.
With Diamelions death, he comes to the point that he realizes he is alone. Desolite in his isolation,
he regrets the actions he has taken against his brother and his country. Doomed to remain in the
placid yet merky lagoon, till he takes his final breath and joins his brother and Diamelion. He riskes
he took, and the agony of isolation, are all he has left to comfort him in his own seclued sanctuary
Arsat had not moved. He stood lonely in the searching sunshine; and he looked beyond the great
light of a cloudless day into the darkness of a world of illusions.
His can also be looked as an epifany, but for this purpose, the epifany can be directly
related to the relization of the irony of the story. He realizes he is alone, and how nothing worked
out as he had orginally planned. At this moment of the story, Arsat is lost, and the irony of his life is
Joesph Conrad made irony a point in The Lagoon . Arsat is the victim of this irony. Arsat s
journey from his country with his brother and diamelion is the cause. He cared so much for himself
and his happiness, that he sacrificed his brother. But in the end, he sacrifced his happiness. He
cared very much for his brother, but he left him to be killed, even while he was yelling for them to
wait. He did not turn back. So all the effort and sacrifice he endured for his happiness can to no
avial. He remains in his isolation on the lagoon. The irony is that the thing that he sacrificed is the
thing he misses most.
What did I care who died? I wanted peace in my own heart.
This statement is the irony itself. He was so selfish towards his brother, and he regreats his
actions. He can not take his actions back, and now he must pay the price. That is isolation till his
dieing day, and losing the happiness that he tried so hard to accomplish on the desoliate lagoon.
The theme in The Lagoon is isolation. Conrad relays that theme through many ways. One
of which is the isolation of the lagoon to the isolation of Arsat. Both lonely and unforgived. Arsat is
islation and lonely. Not able to return to his homeland, return his brother from the dead, or same
Diamelon form joing his brother. Conrad also relays a sense of isolation through the description of
And the white man s canoe, advancing up stream in the short-lived disturbance of its own making,
seemed to enter the portals of a land from which the very memory of motion had forever departed.
This description of the entrance to the lagoon, gives a feeling of a lifeless, yet flourishing,
jungle. With no motion except for the paddles, it convays a sense of lonleyness. Conrad relays that
isolation to Arsat. He is alone in his own mind, as the white man was coming up the passage way.
In The Lagoon Conrad the theme of isolation is made easly noticable. He convays that in
two main ways. First is the setting. The descripion as the white man travels in the beginning the
story gives you the sense of an uninhabited, dark and menising place. This Lagoon, set off from
society, with a rumor of horrid things that lay inside it s detached area. Another way is the isolation
of Arsat. He is alone and removed from society, just as the lagoon is.
I shall not eat of sleep in this house, but i must first see my road. Now i can see nothing-see
nothing! There is no light and no peace in the world….
Arsat now comfirms his complete removal from society and from the only thing that gave him
justice in his own mind from his brothers death, Diamelion. He is isolation not only from his
surrondings, but from the frame of mind that there was one good reason for leaving his brother
behind. Now that two is gone.
Joesph Conrad incorporated Symbolism greatly into the Lagoon. He directly related the
desolate lagoon to Arsat. He came to the relization that it was destin to be alone for the rest of his
life. The complete isolation of the barren, still and merky water resembles the dark future for Arsat.
Another was to find symbolism in The Lagoon is when Tuan is leaving Arsat and he looks back to
see the rippling water behind him. That could reflect on the new motions turning in Arsat s head.
From the almost motionless surronding on the way, to the exit with rippling water, and occasionly
gusts of wind during the conversation.
Joesph Conrad use of Symbolism in The Lagoon i feel is seen through the use of screnery.
One the way in, the erie stillness and scilence of the entrance way to the lagoon resembels the way
Arsat feels about his future. Arsat can see that Diamelion is going to die soon, and when she does,
he will be destin to remain in the lagoon by himself. Then the sun rises with a change of scenery.
This could symbolize the change in Arsat s mind to the relization that something new will be coming.
Then from behind the black and wavy line of the forests a column of golden light shot up into the
heavens and spread over the semicircle of the eastern horizon. The sun had risen.
The change I feel directly relates to the change in Arsat. During the most of the story, the
scenery is dark and monotonious. But then when Arsat enters the house because he heard a stir
and he went to go check on Diamelion, then the sun rises, and Arsat walks out and states- She
burns no more.
The symbol of the white hat, at the end of the book, is a symbol of good, of the captain’s
pity and mercy for”his other self.” The item also represents the physical parting of the captain and
Leggatt, who have throughout the story fused into one (even the grammar eventually refers to
Leggatt and the captain as one person, and the name Leggatt is used very infrequently throughout
the book). The hat was the pinnacle of this language and the captain’s identification with his secret
self: when he justifies giving the hat to Leggatt he says “I saw myself wandering barefooted,
bareheaded, the sun beating on my dark poll. I snatched off my floppy had and tried hurriedly in the
dark to ram it on my other self.” That he leaves the hat is significant, because it symbolizes the
parting between the two. More significantly, and ironically, however, the hat literally points the way
to the Captain’s successful maneuvering of his ship to a safe place, an act that insures his
acceptance and the salvation of himself, his ship, and all those aboard the ship. The implication,
then, could be that by pitying our “dark selves,” by accepting and helping them to grow, we help
ourselves, forgive ourselves, and enable ourselves to escape their reaches.
Leggatt: Clearly, the person of Leggatt is central to the story, and extremely symbolic. In one
reading of “The Secret Sharer,” Leggatt represents a lawless, subrational side of the self which may
lie dormant until some moment of moral stress, and then must somehow be encountered. Another
similar reading holds that Leggatt represents the subconscious that is buried deep within all. This
function is revealed to the reader through many ways. The first point that emphasizes this is
Leggatt’s utter lack of rationality (contrary to the Captain’s descriptions of him as intelligent’ and
sane’). In his own element, the fishlike Leggatt loses even the appearance of rationality:
“With a gasp I saw revealed to my stare a pair of feet, the long legs, a broad livid back immersed
right up to the neck in a greenish cadaverous glow . . . He was complete but for the head. A
If Leggatt symbolically lacks a head, as this description and his name imply, then there is little
surprise in his finding the narrator’s hat useless when at the end of the story he returns to his
native element. Also, the fact that he was a naked swimmer when he was discovered, is of
importance, because that symbolizes that he is stripped to his basic substance, in his native
element, the water. However, because his color is “pale” and he is immersed in ” a greenish
cadaverous glow,” in Conrad’s terms means that he is generally an evil person (the pale’ and lack
of color), however, the light coming from him indicates the possibility of something good evolving
from him in the end, that is, the captain’s maturation.
The idea of a map is an important symbol. They are guides, records of exploration. They
have dual purposes in that they unlock mysteries by laying out the geography of unknown lands and
they create more mystery by inspiring curiosity about unknown lands on and off the map.
At that time there were many blank spaces on the earth, and when I saw one that looked
particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, “When I
grow up I will go there. . True, by this time it was not a blank space any more. I had got filled in
since my boyhood with rivers and lakes and names. It had ceased to be a blank space of delightful
mystery — a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness.”
This quote could also be realated to the darkness in the human soul.”Darkness” is a
problematic word with several meanings. It is initially referred to in the context of maps places of
darkness have been colored in; therefore they have been settled by explorers and colonialists.
The river is another important symbol. Always moving, not very predictable, the gateway to a
wider world, it is an excellent metaphor for Marlow’s life. Marlow says as a child he had a “passion”
for maps, for the “glories of exploration.” Although this description seems very positive, it sounds
ominous. The tone is of one who recalls childhood notions with bitterness and regret. The reader
can extrapolate these ideas simply by taking into account the first description of Marlow. The sallow
skin and sunken cheeks do not portray him as healthy or happy. He has had the chance to
experience has ruined him in some respect. This is Conrad’s way of arranging the overall structure
of the novel.
A major theme that Conrad explores in the Secret Sharer is the relationship between the
land and sea, elements that he also compares other places in his writing. On one hand, Conrad
rejoices in the great beauty, serenity, and immensity of the sea, compared with the squalor, anxiety,
and unrest of the land. Yet, from the land come the energies, some of them evil, which give meaning
to the climate of the sea. Geographical duality ultimately gives shape to the duality of the self.
Heart of Darkness has been considered for most of this century not only as a literary classic,
but as a powerful indictment of the evils of imperialism. It reflects the savage repressions carried
out in the Congo by the Belgians in one of the largest acts of genocide committed up to that time.
Conrad’s narrator encounters at the end of the story aman named Kurtz, dying, insane, and guilty of
unspeakable atrocities. More recently, African critics like Chinua Achebe have pointed out that the
story can be read as a racist or colonialist parable in which Africans are depicted as innately
irrational and violent, and in which Africa itself is reduced to a metaphor for that which white
Europeans fear withinthemselves. The people of Africa and the land they live in remain inscrutably
alien, other. The title, they argue, impliesthat Africa is the “heart of darkness,” where whites who “go
native” risk releasing the “savage” within themselves.Defenders of Conrad sometimes argue that the
narrator does not speak in Conrad’s own voice, and that a layer of irony conceals his true views.