Symbolism in Heart of Darkness, The Road and The Things They Carried

2021-05-17 13:18:49
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In both Books, the tone used is similar because in the three books, the tone used is not only similar but also has a hint of darkness. All the three books tend to share a common mood of hopelessness and darkness. This makes them at some points to one feel of delicate life is and how one should not give in the will of keeping going. This fact is very evident in the three books. In The Road for example, they had to keep on carrying the fire, in the Things They Had Carried on the other hand, one has to keep on his/ her wits even in the most horrifying and in the scariest times. In The Heart of Darkness, Marlow faces very many horrors on his journey making us to always question not only the morals but also the civilization of the Europeans.

The Symbol that comes in our minds concerning Heart of Darkness is fog. Fog is used here to represent darkness. It makes it very hard to distort and see ones vision. On his down to Congo, Marlow encounters fog. Fog here is meant to represent unseen and unknown danger. After this fog, together with his champions Marlow is attacked by natives. This unseen danger can as well refer to the danger of Kurtz, the everlasting impression that was on Marlow all the years after his return to Brussels.

In The Road on the other hand, the Protagonist is the boy and the man. They tend to be more broadly drawn characters since we do not know a lot about them, not even their real names. They tend to more symbolic. The father for example is shown as a symbol of choices that people always make so as to protect those that they love. His decisions are always based on their health and the quantity of food they have. Throughout the whole book, the father is always contemplating on killing the boy. This makes it look like there is no life for the boy in this Earth. The boy on the other hand is also symbolic because he is a representation of the innocence of every child. He does want to hurt nay person. All he wants is to ensure that they are going on carrying the fire. Ha totally feels that it is his responsibility to ensure that they do not become bad guys. In fact, they are more like the idea of Shakespare on the tragic hero since their travel down the road is full of hopelessness since they know that at some point they are going to meet their death in one way or another. An archetype that best describes the father would be a father figure. In the whole book, he looks for this boy and puts the interests of the boy above himself. An archetype that can be used to describe the boy on the other hand is the kind that is growing up. That can be clearly shown when the boy throws away the flute that his father had made for him.

The most important symbol that is clearly shown in The Road is the road that both the father and the son take to south. This road is meant to represent the hope for survival for both the two. This road is their only way to retreat from the harsh winter and reaching a place where they can best let down their burdens for just a while. They also tend to wholly depend on this road to lead them to various places where they can be able to look for shelter and food from and be able to avoid both the bad guys and the harsh weather.

The symbol that is clearly evident in The Things They Carried is the man that was killed by OBrien. The way he keeps on remembering the man that he killed is s symbol of his guilt that he always has for having carried out the act of throwing the grenade. The way he always describe the injuries that this man that he killed had is also a good symbol of the brutality of the war itself. The war is brutal because one has killed other people so as to be able to survive.

The Road and Heart of Darkness are very similar in Heart Darkness; one is disconnected through embedded text. In The Road on the other hand, one is disconnected throughout the book because we never learn the names of the characters as well as the crucial information concerning their background. In both books, the syntax is very foggy and even empty at times.

Because of being disconnected in Heart of Darkness, the diction is made to be dead and also empty. The syntax is therefore not only choppy but also short. This therefore adds McCarthys tone conveying a dead world that is full of people who are the walking dead.

In The Heart of Darkness on the other hand, being disconnected tends to make the diction dark. It also gives one a sense of a doom that is impending. This therefore helps in conveying both the character and the tone that Conrad is trying to accomplish since by being disconnected the book looks both intense and horrific. not even the faintest sound of a kind could be heard. One looked on amazed and then begun suspecting that maybe you are deaf- and then suddenly the night came and then struck you blind also. At around three in the morning some large fish started leaping, the loud splash made me jump as if a gun had been fired. After the sun had risen, they were white fog that was not very warm but also very clammy. There was also more blinding than the night. It didnt drive or shift; it just remained there standing all around like something solid

he then walked in the gray light and then stood. He then for a brief moment saw the absolute truth about this world. The cold was relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness on the other hand was implacable. The blind dogs of the sun were in their running. There was the crushing vacuum of this universe. And somewhere there were two hunted animals that were trembling like ground foxes in their cover. The borrowed time, the borrowed eyes and the borrowed world had nothing but to sorrow it.

The genre evident in Heart of Darkness is fiction and horror. The structure of this narrative is a story within a story. Because of being distanced this way the book has got an ominous and almost lurid feel. The book is also linear the plot found throughout this book is moving in a straight line. The conflict evident here is whether Marlow will remain civilized before the eyes of the European society as he goes travelling deeper and deeper into the territory that is uncivilized. Marlow also seems to be having some internal conflicts between his morals and himself. He tends to have some internal conflicts with the social conflicts of his society of either being uncivilized or civilized. This duel narration of Heart of darkness gives one an ominous feeling. It makes the story look less reliable because one is made to think that the narrator is keeping some important information away from us.

The genre found in The Road apocalyptic and science fiction. The book is narrated from a third person structure since this story is not being told the eyes of the boy of those of the man. This makes one feel very disconnected since we do not know what is going on in the head of either the boy or the man. The plot of the book is moving on a straight line making the book linear. The major conflict found here is keeping on carrying the fire and remaining a good guy in a world that is full of bad guys. The father seems to have got some internal conflicts on whether to kill this boy or letting him continue living. They are both pressured by the internal social norms of their society; cannibalism. This type of narration too disconnects one from the novel and also allows one to feel the hopelessness of this dark situation that they were in.

The genre found in The Things They Carried on the other hand is fiction. The narrative structure found here is that of a third person and first person. The first person point tends to change from OBrien to his friends in his platoon. This gives us a chance of connecting to each character and knowing their personalities. The major conflict found in this book is that of OBrien trying to learn how to deal with his experiences in the Vietnam War. In the beginning of the book, OBrien has got some internal conflicts and pressures from his society over whether he should go war or not. The narration of this book can be very serious at times but OBrien ramps up the emotion through painting visual images in our minds of the suspense and action.

Work Cited

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Internet resource.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. London: Bibliolis Books, 2010. Print.

Bloom, Harold. Tim O'brien's the Things They Carried. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2005. Internet resource.

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