Posted at 10.13.2018
The Heart and soul of Darkness and THE STREET both represent the hardships and have difficulty of a apparently futile journey where the outcome remains predominately elusive to the people heroes with a feeble but defiant trust. So that it can be argued that both novels represent not only a physical journey but also a metaphorical one. The voyage model is seen as ideally fitted to both books as it includes the truest test of optimism, that from the ever-immersing dark the prospect of purity and goodness supports a view of desire.
The contextual background surrounding the Heart of Darkness has significant effect on the idea of a physical trip, as the storyplot itself unfolds at a particular time in record and pulls from Conrad's personal experience.
The Center of Darkness is set over the last two decades of the 19th century when European nations competed to colonize and subsequently 'civilize' the African continent. In the Heart and soul of Darkness this is from the 'Belgian Congo', believed to have contained a few of the most brutal treatment of the local Africans, which was partly experienced by Joseph Conrad who performed as a pilot on the Belgian steamship. Within this sense the physical journey is, inside a framed narrative, the first narrator revealing to us Marlow's history of his trip in to the Congo. The thought of a framed narrative also creates the impression of being considered deeper and deeper into the narrative by a telescoping process, which suggests a similar notion of Marlow delving further in to the psychological have difficulty he endures. The reader is also reminded that it is retrospective which allows Marlow to fully reflect on his trip and explore how it offers affected him. That is supported by the first narrator reliving his own quest commenting at the end that the Thames leads "into the heart of the immense darkness".
The idea of a voyage is also mirrored geographically, with the Thames behaving as the setting up of the narration, in itself a historical trading path to the different jacks of the English Empire, while Marlow uses Brussels as a starting point for his physical quest and the doctor's warnings of the mental and psychological results on european colonialists to foreshadow Marlow's trip through the Congo. However, Conrad is intentionally unspecific. Even where place titles are pointed out, such as 'Gran Bassam' and 'Little Popo' they seem to be made to conjure up the sense of a fairly exotic faade rather than a far more factual and physical reality. This is further apparent when Marlow would go to visit the Company headquarters where no mention is constructed of the Western city he's in apart from his own explanation "whited sepulcher". This shows that Marlow's physical wanderings can be read as a metaphorical journey of self-discovery.
Conrad's use of terminology helps to emphasize the physical level of the quest. He demonstrates this through brilliant and brutal personification of the panorama; it is a place where "the mist itself got screamed", "the bush started to howl". This physicality is also reflected in his precise description of the natives, " I made out, deep in the tangled gloom, naked chest, arms, hip and legs, glaring eyes- the bush was swarming with human being limbs", and his stunning depiction of Kurtz, "I possibly could start to see the cage of his ribs all astir, the bone fragments of his arm wavingan cartoon image of loss of life carved out of old ivory".
From a contextual viewpoint, Heart and soul of Darkness displays a physical invasion of western colonialism.
The Street on the other hands occurs in a post-apocalyptic setting up where the remaining world is kept "sparse and decaying into nothingness". Really the only mention of the calamity being. " A long shear of light and a series of low concussions".
The daddy and son's physical voyage is more evident and is rooted in real human survival "This is what the good men do. They keep striving. They don't give up". The general shape of the trip in THE STREET is the father and son's objective to attain the east coastline of the united states. On a literal level, their goal is to attain the sea, while at each stage; the quest is the have difficulty for survival and the father's obstacle to protect his son's life.
Right right from the start, the father senses the fragility with their goal, " He understood that he was putting expectations where he'd no reason to. He hoped it would be brighter where for those he knew the entire world grew darker daily. " However, delicate or not, the purpose of the seacoast lends a composition to their wandering.
McCarthy also uses different detail to continuously emphasise the physicality of these journey. Including the simple opening of an jar is no longer regime "he knelt and positioned the first jar sideways in the area between the door and the jamb and taken the door against it. Then he squatted in the foyer floor and hooked his feet over the exterior edge of the door and pulled it contrary to the lid and twisted the jar in his hands. "
Although the physical mother nature of the journeys within both books play an important part, these are structurally used to indicate a far more symbolic meaning of every novel. The idea of metaphorical journeys, helps to enhance and provide a basis for the personas' personal progression.
This is most obvious in The Road, with the daddy and the guy representing two different perspectives on success. The boy suggests a far more collective journey; about preserving all kinds of life in the moment, which contrasts recover of the father's individual journey, that solidly embodies today's world. The boy's collective trip is echoed by his perception to bring people who have him "if we had that little baby it could go with us". He goes on to suggest similar sentiments to the young young man and your dog, while also seeking to convince his dad for Ely to go with them. His desire to include others on their journey shows a collective approach to survival. Alternatively, the father's mistrust of individuals makes their journey that of the average person, the lone man on "some previous venture at the edge of the entire world". This creates unavoidable isolation, which, however, is essential in order to make it through.
The notion of success therefore becomes a central theme to the novel. The daddy insists upon it: "We're survivors", the better half however, has another outlook on their predicament "We're the walking dead in a horror film".
The dismissal of his wife's condemnation advises the survival instinct within the father. However, Ely, the old man they meet on the highway, places what constitutes surviving into question.
He says, "If something experienced occurred and we were survivors and we satisfied on the highway then we'd have something to share with you. But we're not. So we don't". According to Ely, although they may be alive, these are yet to have truly survived the disaster. Ely and the mother both suggest that just the easy idea of avoiding death is insufficient. To them, mere survival through fleeing or venturing is futile, if there is room of sanctuary at the end of the journey. Therefore they start to see the voyage is not development as advancement but rather empty movement.
The concept of time entwined with the voyage adds an additional layer of complexity to metaphorical areas of The Road.
The combo of the journey model with the post-apocalyptic perspective evokes a linear conception of the time. This concept places previous, present, and future along a course, in which a sense of your time passing marks any progress along the path. In THE STREET this is particularly evident after a while without research and exactly like most things in the novel it too has become meaningless and hollow, "The day providential to itself. The hour. There is absolutely no later. This is later. " The path also allows us, from our current position, to look forward in to the future or reminisce on the past. This idea is suggested through the father's recollections, but his stories are no more relevant to the immediate minute than dreams. Both arise in short glimpses that momentarily take the reader away from the cold fact of today's. The father provides a reason behind mistrusting dreams: "Plus the dreams so rich in shade. How else would loss of life call you? Waking in the chilly dawn it all considered ash instantly, like certain early frescoes entombed for centuries suddenly exposed to the day. "
The key metaphorical reading of the Heart of Darkness is Marlow's voyage of self-discovery. Marlow's descent in to the Congo, "I was about to set off for the centre of the world", is a specific indicator of his expected exploration in to the interior, " The changes take place inside, you understand". Marlow often reiterates that he's recounting such a voyage and highlights he did not know himself before aiming, the Inner Train station "was the farthest point of navigation and the culminating point of my experience", while also expecting that it could give him a chance to 'find' himself. Marlow's trip, however, is powered out of an attention for the enigma bordering Kurtz an unseen agent who had left 'the flabby devil' of the Central stop and "equipped with moral ideas of some sort", had not returned. This trip is also submersed in the metaphors of light and deep. Considered contextually the assumption that the colonialists are taking the light to the darkness of Africa. However, this view is reversed by Marlow, who considers the greed and malice of the 'interlopers' to be at the main of 'the darkness', "It had been like a weary pilgrimage amidst ideas for nightmares". This is foreshadowed when Marlow identifies London, the heart of the colonialist empire, to be engulfed in a "brooding gloom".
While on the quest Conrad frequently portrays Marlow in an almost dreamlike express, as if he's delving into his own awareness "It appears to me I am trying to let you know a desire making a vain look at, because no relation of a desire can communicate the dream-sensation". This introspective view rises in relevance the closer he gets to Kurtz, adding a layer of anxiety to the aura already surrounding him. Marlow's fixation with Kurtz appears to stem from a powerful fascination to something within him, something that Kurtz embodies and dramatizes. To Marlow, Kurtz signifies a hero figure, a man who let himself be engulfed by the darkness and plunge in to the depths of real human savagery, who experienced shown him the boundaries of the moral spirit while also dismissing the light as though to defy the very nature of human being conditioning. It is this fascination that even in the darkest pit of individual existence one may find a sense of purity, a "supreme minute of complete knowledge" that becomes illuminating to those that witness it, "that cannot see the light of the candle, but was huge enough to penetrate all the hearts of the universe". Essentially, Kurtz identifies Marlow's quest of self-discovery. To comprehend this one needs to understanding what Marlow has truly determined. Unlike Kurtz, Marlow has an 'inborn durability'. He has the means, when the exterior restrictions of contemporary society are removed, never to step "over the edge" and avoid the temptation of any decline into bestiality and primitive thoughts. For Kurtz whose spirit understands "no restraint, no trust, and no fear", he's penetrated by the wilderness "echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core". In comparison to Kurtz, Marlow evades "the horror!" while gaining sight "of a glimpsed fact" to become a more knowing man. This change in him, this fulfilment of himself, is apparent on his return to Europe, where Marlow now considers typical people as " intruders whose understanding of life was if you ask me an bothersome pretence because I felt so sure they cannot possibly know the items I knew". On this sense Marlow's metaphorical trip is complete.
The underlying theme of both physical and religious survival seems to be the dominant feature of the metaphorical and physical journeys endured by the key individuals. The journeys themselves show that when the restraints of population are stripped away and the entire world is torn between moral turmoil, it is those that possess the capability to keep your hands on their humanity that are finally the true survivors who reach the journey's end.
"It was an instant of triumph for the wilderness, an invading and vengeful dash which, it seemed to me, I would have to keep again together for the salvation of another heart and soul. "