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Quinn on Heart of Darkness

Quinn on Heart of Darkness We cannot read Quinns Ishmael without re-evaluating ourselves. Quinn confronts us with powerful revelations about mankind. According to Quinn, if we continue to live in our taker lifestyles, we will eventually destroy ourselves. Conrads Heart of Darkness illustrates a real life manifestation of Quinns insights. Written nearly a century ago, Conrads tale of early English imperialistic taker lifestyle still resembles present day taker lifestyle. We still try to rule other lands and people. We still have the attitude that everything centers on man. We still exhaust Earths resources and kill its creations. Above all, we still do all this with ignorance.With Ishmael as a guide, we can better understand how Conrads more intricate story critiques taker lifestyle. Laying out the major issues in Ishmael will reveal insight to the imagery and symbolism in Heart of Darkness.Quinn states that man believes that the leaver community to be a place of lawless chaos and savage, relentless competition, where every creature goes in terror of its life (Quinn 117). Not until takers conquer these places of lawless chaos can these lands be paradise for man (222). Until then, these lands and its inhabitants are wrenched and in the wrong. Conrad establishes this mentality at the beginning of Heart of Darkness. We are instantly aware of the imagery of dark and light. Traditionally, dark represents evil and light represents good. Conrad begins with associating savagery with darkness and civilization with light. Conrads protagonist, Marlow, explains his version of the origin of England. He asserts to his shipmates, [W]hen the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago Light came out of this river [Thames] since. But darkness was here yesterday (Conrad 3). Takers demand that everyone and everything must be civilized. To takers, civilize means living by their beliefs and their lifestyle. Like gods, takers belie...

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