Darkness in Nostromo

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lmangey
Words 2669
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The Darkness in Nostromo

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:5. Light and darkness are always inverses to one another; both cannot occupy the same place at the same time, and yet neither can be defined without the other. To know the light is to have known the darkness, if one is missing, the other is lost. Darkness is unable to comprehend light, it is unable to understand, it lacks to knowledge. Light in most religions and cultures stemming back thousands of years ago is seen as something that breeds knowledge while darkness destroys all understandings we hold. Nostromo is a modernist novel that enacts the establishment of modern capitalism in a fictional South American territory. Throughout Nostromo, the author Joseph Conrad continuously brings up the theme of darkness in many variations within the text, from the physical darkness cast over all of Costaguana, which is created by the setting sun and lack of light, to the psychological aspect of darkness within character’s hearts and minds, as we see within Nostromo himself when he chooses to forsake his ideology and steal the silver. Conrad was able to use an intangible element of darkness, which has the ability to conceal and destroy knowledge, as a tool to portray human consciousness when you believe that no one is able to discern your actions.
A brief history of Joseph Conrad and his writing will help give way to understanding his intent behind Nostromo. Conrad was a British writer with Polish origins, most famous for his novels such as Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Nostromo. Drawing from his experience as a mariner, he wrote using vibrant words, painting a beautiful picture of nature for his readers and always including the sea in his works. His novel Nostromo was possibly his most famous piece of work, as it is recognized as part of the forefront for…...

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