International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Review Papers | Literature | India | Volume 12 Issue 10, October 2023 | Rating: 5.2 / 10

Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and Carl Jung's Theory of the Collective Unconscious

Arunakumari S [4]

Abstract: The novella "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad provides as an engaging canvas for the examination of Carl Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. From the point of view of Jungian theory, this literary work with its psychological depth lets us explore the deepest parts of the human mind. According to Jung, there is a common storehouse of universal symbols, motifs, and archetypes that are apart from personal experiences and can be found in the collective unconscious. Analyze how Jung's ideas shed light on the story of "Heart of Darkness" and reveal its deep physiological and symbolic significance in this abstract. Jungian archetypes start to show up in the novella as big themes. The hero's journey, a timeless archetype, takes center stage as Marlow embarks on a perilous voyage up the Congo River, facing trials and undergoing inner transformation. His odyssey mirrors the collective human quest for self - discovery. Jung's notion of the shadow, the concealed recesses of the human psyche, finds embodiment in Marlow's and Kurtz's characters. Marlow grapples with the darkness within himself and in the world he navigates, while Kurtz embodies the catastrophic consequences of unchecked desires and the overpowering shadow. Cultural symbols like the Congo River and the impenetrable jungle resonate with Jung's concept of the collective unconscious, symbolizing the enigmatic depths of the human mind. The scarcity of female characters accentuates the dominance of the animus, Jung's concept of the masculine aspect within the female psyche, infusing the narrative with patriarchal energy. Kurtz, with his mythic stature among the indigenous people, becomes a symbolic figure akin to those found in mythological narratives, exemplifying the archetypal dimensions of human experience.

Keywords: Carl Jung, Joseph Conrad, Archetypes, Collective Unconscious, Marlow's Encounter with the Shadow, Psychological Depth, Mythic Elements, Colonialism, Themes

Edition: Volume 12 Issue 10, October 2023,

Pages: 1660 - 1664

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