Contrasts and comparisons are significant strategies that the author uses to pass his feelings and thoughts about an event or a situation. Joseph Conrad’s uses these strategies in the novel Heart of Darkness. Conrad’s uses the contrast and the comparison in the novel while trying to pass a message with a deeper meaning about a place or a situation. The contrasting and the comparative themes in the story bring out Conrad’s feelings and ideas in the Heart of Darkness. One of the most significant contrast and comparative is that of Congo River verses the Thames River that enhances the understanding and the meaning of the novel.
The contrast of River Congo and River Thames is very clear in the novel. River Congo is a winding snake that is disloyal, a place of evil and very dark. On the other hand, River Thames is serene and calm, a place of light both in terms of it being known and not being strange and being illuminated by the city at its shores. These two rivers bring out the contrast between the untamed and the tamed. River Congo symbolizes the untamed. It is a place where people must do what they can for their survival since there is no law and order. It represents a place of no rest and very evil where there is no government intervention and people eat their fellow colleagues. River Thames on the other side is calming and tranquil; it represents people that are tamed by law and order.
The contrast and comparison of River Thames and River Congo show that no one can escape from their inner evil and darkness. It is obvious that darkness will win through when put in a place where people are driven by hate and greed. This contrast and comparison is significant in development of Conrad’s ideas and themes in the novel. It is also very significant in bringing out the understanding and the meaning of the novel.