Darkness is everywhere in Heart of Darkness. But the novella tweaks the conventional idea of white as good and dark as evil. Evil and good don't really apply to Heart of Darkness, because everyone in the novella is somehow complicit in the atrocities taking place in Africa. Rather, whiteness, especially in the form of the white fog that surrounds the steamship, symbolizes blindness. The dark is symbolized by the huge and inscrutable African jungle, and is associated with the unknowable and primitive heart of all men.
Dark and White Quotes in Heart of Darkness
The Heart of Darkness quotes below all refer to the symbol of Dark and White. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Heart of Darkness published in 1990.).
Part 1 Quotes
'And this also,' said Marlow suddenly, 'has been one of the dark places of the earth.
Part 2 Quotes
The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.
Part 3 Quotes
The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
Dark and White Symbol Timeline in Heart of Darkness
The timeline below shows where the symbol Dark and White appears in Heart of Darkness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.