Darkness Essay, Research Paper
A Comparison and Contrast of Lord of the Flies and Heart of Darkness
Achebe uses positive tone in his description of the African jungle; whereas, Conrad makes use of negative connotations. Their portrayals of the jungle reflect their attitudes toward their subject; Achebe sees it as a hospitable home whereas Conrad sees a tragic trap.
Conrad utilizes words with negative connotations, such as Arioted, Amob, Avengeful, and Agloom to portray the jungle as an inauspicious place. He makes use of diction such as, “Whether it meant war, peace, or prayer we could not tell…” to further portray the jungle as an Aunknown planet,” a place of hostile unfamiliarity. Conrad feels the “white man’s burden” as, “…an accursed inheritance, to be subdued…” Marlow’s ignorance of his surroundings is exemplified as he asks, “The prehistoric man was cursing us, praying to us, welcoming us — who could tell?” Marlow is simultaneously frightened and baffled by this man. His attitude is one of disgust.
Achebe uses positive connotations and imagery: “The sun rose slowly to the center of the sky…” “…a peaceful dance…” “…taking one of the titles of his clan, with music and dancing and a great feast.” to depict the jungle as a lively, animated, and supportive dwelling. His images of “The sun breaking through…” contrast heavily with Conrad’s dark and gloomy imagery.
Conrad is more biased from the beginning against the African people, seeing them as an extension of the “impenetrable forest” where his character Marlow is, “…cut off for ever from everything you had know once… “[sic] Marlow’s jungle is one of, Aplants, and water, and silence.” These images lend themselves to the British impression of Africa as an “uncivilized” place. Achebe’s “…music and dancing and a great feast…” are a “…roll of drums behind a curtain of trees…hovering high over our heads…” to Conrad. Achebe’s feast is a pleasant image of celebration, whereas Conrad’s hovering trees call up images of a guillotine.
Conrad’s view of the jungle is fatalistic; it reflects his view of the African jungle and with it, African human nature that he sees as an uncivilized place to be subdued and conquered. Achebe feels that the jungle is a peaceful place filled with familiar sights and sounds. In light of the question, the authors’ tones shed different lights on the same jungle.