Has anyone else noticed a theme in some of the books we have read of nature being a bit on the…well….evil….side? Maybe evil isn’t the correct adjective, but something along the lines of ominous, powerful…destructive. Some noteworthy literature we have that shows this theme are The Scarlet Letter, The Tempest, Heart of Darkness…and if you go way back, even the works Macbeth and Frankenstein. All of these pieces have the common theme of nature being powerful…or more importantly, dominating over man even though he believes otherwise…which doesn’t work out too well in the end (maybe for Prospero, but not so much Macbeth…poor guy…he was crazy afterall).
Specifically in Heart of Darkness, I have noticed this theme come up a lot. The steamboat is indeed getting deeper into the heart of the Congo, and as it continues, foliage gets darker, fog gets thicker…it gets a bit creepy. However, all of these play into the subtle clue that nature is superior to humans-it undermines their senses. And Conrad doesn’t shy away from mentioning words such as “ominous,” “gloomy,” “thick,” “dark,” (the list could go on and on) to describe nature.
He definitely has a point…don’t mess with nature, you guys. It will always win in the end.