“It had ceased to be a blank space of delightful mystery–a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness. But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land” (Conrad 108).
Conrad often alludes to “darkness” throughout the novel, as evident in this passage at the beginning of the novel. The darkness may be referring to an individual darkness within a person, or in this case, an unexplored primitive setting. Conrad often appears to depict Africa in such a manner, making it clear as to why many critics question whether or not his writing is considered racist.
Conrad, Joseph, and Cedric Thomas. Watts. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1990. Print.