Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness book cover
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What significance lies in Marlow's references to maps? How do they represent the novella's frequent opposition between light and darkness?

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Even as a child Marlow was fascinated by the "blank spaces" on maps, areas that hadn't been explored. He yearned to visit those exotic lands. As the blank places are explored and mapped, the maps become darker. Symbolically, Conrad is depicting the negative effects of European colonialism. The exploration, for instance, done in Africa was motivated because of a desire for ivory and rubber, not merely a pure...

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