Post Seminar Thought

by kthai

Well actually I had an underdeveloped version of this thought during seminar, but I wasn’t really sure of what I was trying to say. I got it while waiting for the bus though and I thought I’d just post it. In response to Andrew’s question about motifs such as light and dark and the blurriness of the fog, and whether they do anything to enhance the text, I’d have to say yes. I feel like they serve to parallel (at times) but mainly to challenge the perceptions people have of race. Light and dark have common connotations with good and bad and that connection is then made to white and black people. What I feel Conrad does in the story is challenge our perception of white people being purely good and black people being dark, base, etc. and the light and dark motifs are a sort of but not really subtle addition to that.

When we talked of the fog we mentioned the blurriness, the uncertainty, and there was a quote I found that struck me during my reading:

“When the sun rose there was a white fog, very warm and clammy, and more blinding than the night.” 111

Blindness does have a connection to uncertainty. Blindness leaves one in the dark so to speak, but what blinds them here is white. Sort of trying to alter or perception of where darkness exists or comes from? Whether they’re in the dark or the light they’re still blinded. The darkness is inescapable? Unavoidable? Must be acknowledged? I could relate that to some inner darkness? Kurtz, Everyone, Jung and the Shadow!

I could think and write about this text for a long time. It’s great, it’s probably one of my favourite books and would be put in my favourite-book-list, if I had to come up with a list, which I hate doing.

But it’s the weekend and there is stuff that needs doing.

achebe post to come