Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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How is Marlow's journey up the Congo symbolic? 

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bmadnick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Marlow's journey is symbolic of a person's mind and soul. Just as Marlow progresses into the darkness of the African continent, a person's brain and heart are just as dark as the continent itself in that we really don't know what that person is thinking or what that person is capable of. The darkness of a man's soul would be the evil that he's capable of, thus the title. The African continent is uncharted just as a person's mind and soul are uncharted territories.

Some also see Marlow's journey as a metaphor for sin and redemption. As is true in so many books, dark and light are symbolic for good and evil. Marlow's journey into the darkness of Africa is representative of the darkness of human evil and death. Returning from Africa, or the light, then represents life and goodness. Kurtz was unable to...

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cybil eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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vn5472 | Student

Could you consider the trip symbolizes one walking through Hell?