Literary Devices in Heart of Darkness
Point of View: Heart of Darkness is often hailed as the precursor to modernism, a literary movement that came to prominence in the early 1900s. Compared to other writing of his time, Conrad’s prose would have seemed extremely experimental. Throughout the text, Conrad utilizes sentence fragments to better mirror the reality of spoken dialogue and invokes a stream-of-consciousness style.
Symbols, Imagery, and Metaphor: Conrad emulates London’s fog and Africa’s darkness with his deliberately mystifying and dense prose. Heavily laden symbolic imagery and metaphor also contribute to a mystical element, which heightens as Marlow makes his way deeper into the heart of the Congo.
Literary Devices Examples in Heart of Darkness:
"Had to start without me...." See in text (Chapter 1)
"(I heard the men..." See in text (Chapter 1)
"slipped through one of these cracks..." See in text (Chapter 1)
"a kind of light..." See in text (Chapter 1)
"—just like Kurtz—..." See in text (Chapter 2)
"My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my—..." See in text (Chapter 2)
"the form of apathy . . ...." See in text (Chapter 2)