Notes on Heart of Darkness Themes

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Heart of Darkness Topic Tracking: Wilderness Imagery

Part 1

Wilderness Imagery 1: Marlow describes for his shipmates the wild state of nature that must have existed when the Romans first visited England.

Wilderness Imagery 2: Marlow watched the jungle from his ship, seeing pure wilderness for the first time.

Wilderness Imagery 3: Marlow describes the wild and varied vegetation he saw on his journey, and the oppressive impression it had on him.

Wilderness Imagery 4: Marlow had an image, at the Central Station, of the surrounding wilderness waiting to outlast the invasion of the Company.

Part 2

Wilderness Imagery 5: Marlow imagined the forest looking back at the manager and his uncle--the wilderness is personified.

Wilderness Imagery 6: The vegetation and wild natural state along the river overwhelmed Marlow--he imagined it observing him from all sides.

Wilderness Imagery 7: Marlow looked back and could see no trace of where the ship had come from--it was as though the jungle was closing in behind them.

Part 3

Wilderness Imagery 8: Marlow says that the wilderness had taken control of Kurtz.

Wilderness Imagery 9: When he leaves the ship to look for Kurtz, Marlow ends up in the midst of the living, wild jungle he had been fearing all along.

Wilderness Imagery 10: Kurtz, cursing the wilderness, asked Marlow to close the shutters to keep him from seeing the "curtain of trees" around him.

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