Different reasons pull Marlow and Henderson into the jungle. Here they develop a struggle to find themselves and their own reality. Henderson and Marlow correlate individual meanings to experiences in order to gain a perspective of their own reality. In Heart of Darkness Marlow there is a real contrast between what is light and what is dark. These contrasts work within the reality of Marlow’s conception of what he considered right and wrong. Light represents for him what he is not. The light represents something unknown while the darkness was himself, knowledge of the impurity of the world and everything around him.
Marlow developed an odd phrasing of what he considered his own reality. The meaning that Marlow assigned to his journey into the jungle and the knowledge about himself that he obtained from this journey developed this perspective. He discovered that what he always thought had been black referring it to the unknown was whiter than himself. The main meaning for Marlow being in the jungle was the “Fascination for the Abomination” that he developed for the something unknown. He developed this fascination for Kurtz.
For Marlow, Kurtz was an idea that became part of Marlow’s reality. Marlow based his reality on ideas with individual meaning like the contact with the savages or the journey in the river that led him to find himself. Marlow, in a miserable realization, discovers that the meaning of life is personal. Only he will be able to understand himself and no one else will be able to do it. He describes his reality as one built by appearance in which the contact created between him and the outside world is based on no meaning. He’d conclusion is that” We live as we dream, alone”.
(Conrad, 97) Marlow was afraid of the jungle, but more than the jungle he was afraid about what he can discover about himself inside it. Marlow was afraid of discovered what at the end he could not avoid to acknowledge, he was afraid of discovered that he can try as hard as he can to fit in the society but the fact that he will never know himself, as well as he never will know other people is not going to let him fit in. He realizes during his journey that all the knowledge that he have about others was created by appearances.
Like Marlow, Henderson, went through the jungle trying to relieve the pain created by being trapped between his own reality and the one created by the larger society and his own within it. In the jungle and in the savages, Henderson finds the key to finding a way to create stability between the two realities. This involved having truth for himself. The first meaningful experience that Henderson experienced in the jungle was with Willatale, the queen of a savage tribe. This has a great impact on his effort to build his own reality.
Through this experience Henderson discovers the wisdom of “being” and not “becoming”(Bellow, 160). Henderson discovers for the first time the truth that becomes the essential meaning for his reality. Henderson also realizes that there is no perfect being and that everyone suffers; but the only solution to this suffering is how much meaning one assigns to it in contrast to how much one assigns other experiences. A key to Henderson’s reality was the discovery of meaning that he found in Atti, a lion that Dahfu, the king of a second savage tribe, make him imitate her in order to learn a lesson.
He absorbed form Atti a lot of things such as courage, poise, and self-confidence. The teaching allows him to awake his human longing. The thing which follows Henderson’s human longing awakening is his ability to feel that he is growing to be a newborn man as he says: his was where my heart had sent me, with its clamor. “This is where I ended up…. For I had claws, and hair and some teeth, and I was bursting with hot noise, but when all this had come forth, there was still a remainder. That last thing of all was my human longing”(Bellow ,267)
He discovers that the importance in accepting who he was in order to relieve the pain and suffering. He created a reality in which the main meaning was the truth about himself as a “being” person not as a “becoming one. ” He discovered that being human and being his own person was a good thing in the contrast to what he had thought before the meaningful experiences that he lived through. Henderson and Marlow both realize that what guides humans and their behavior are the impulse of an idea that means that ideas propose solutions for intern necessities that make beings behave in a certain way.
They guide us to live experiences that build our reality. This idea was the same idea that led Henderson to Africa, led him to explore for himself this idea which was the perpetrator of his new reality. Reality is the creation of human beings based on their own experiences in which the meaning of each one can be positive, like Henderson’s, or negative, like Marlow’s. 3 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section.