Most Individuals face adversity at some point In their life. These adverse situations shape an Individual’s Identity and help one find their true values. In “Heart of Darkness,” Marrow is an independent young man that encounters many alarming situations while traveling to the Congo on a steamboat. He is on a mission to find a man named Kurt, who is secretly in charge of running an ivory trade. Marrow faces many adverse situations which shape his identity a vast amount.
Joseph Concord’s novella demonstrates that for one to gain their true identity they must first encounter adversity because the events they face may help one find themselves. This can result in flying ones Identity and values. When facing adversity, some may adapt easily to overcome obstacles and others may have a challenge with that. Marrow states, “We live as we dream-alone. ” Throughout this adventure, Marrow is surrounded by people, but he is alone in his mission. He is determined to find Kurt and that motivates him to push through all his challenges. This determination soon turns Into an obsession slowly making Marrow go mad.
Marrow fights through everything to make it to Kurt, including emotional factors of itching people around him die which makes him weak on the inside and we begin to see a change in his character. Marrow learns quickly he is never safe and must adapt and pay more attention to his surroundings. In the book the narrator stated “But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and by heavens I tell you, It had gone mad” which shows Marrows translator Into madness. A man thrown Into a diverse environment Is thought to remain the same person but can change easily.
John Locke, a philosopher, once stated “tabular Rasa,” which means the mind is a blank late that is filled as a result of experiences. As quoted in the book “l do not like work – no man does – but I like what Is In the work – the chance to find yourself, not for others – what no other man can ever know’ which shows Marrow’s Journey in discovering himself. Marrow enters the Congo Independent and tough but soon realizes he is very inexperienced. To gain knowledge he watches the world and what goes on around him. Through the adversity Marrow can see more deeply within himself and has a better understanding of what his values are.
A person’s Identity comes from how he/she Interprets and adapts to their surroundings. We notice a great deal of change In Marrows personality Including lying. At the beginning of the story it is mentioned that Marrow never lies but at the end it is in his new identity he chooses to lie openly to Quartz’s intended about Quartz’s death. This is shown by the narrator in the following quote from the book “The truth would have opened the bleakness of his heart to her view and she would have known the depths to which he had sunk”. The world had defeated Marrow changing him Into weak and broken man from the tough person he used to be.
Once an Individual either easier or harder to live a new life revolving around their new identity. Adversity can be recognized as a challenging situation. Through adversity one’s personality may change due to the events they face. Marrow is a prime example of this as it is shown his identity has changed a great amount through his experiences traveling in the Congo River which led to the choices he made. Heart of Darkness shows that how we choose to react to adverse situations can shape our individual identity changing it for the better or worse.