Synecdoche in heart of darkness 1

Synecdoche in heart of darkness

Definition of Synecdoche

Synecdoche in heart of darknessTo understand better about Synecdoche in heart of darkness, learners need to first define Synecdoche.  Synecdoche refers to a figure in a speech where a part signifies the entire thing or vice versa. It derives from the Greek synecdoche, which means “simultaneous understanding”. Synecdoche is a literary device that allows a smaller part of something to be used as a metaphor for the larger whole.

Synecdoche is also possible to work in the reverse direction. In this case, the larger whole represents a smaller part of something. Synecdoche allows writers to express an idea or word in a new way using an aspect of the word. This allows for variation in expression and creates an effect for the reader.

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One common synecdoche to propose marriage is to ask for the person’s “hand”. This is a figure in a speech meant to suggest that someone asks for their hand for effect, not literally. In this synecdoche example, the “hand” is the part that symbolizes the entire person who receives the marriage proposal. It also reflects the symbolic location of a wedding band.

Synecdoche, a literary device, allows writers to avoid using too many words or phrases. It creates an art form for expression.

Common Examples of Synecdoche

Students writing about Synecdoche in heart of darkness should also be familiar with contemporary Synecdoche and how well they are used.

These are some synecdoche examples that can be found in everyday expressions:

  • The White House is the symbol of the U.S. president (or executive branch).
  • Heels are high-heeled shoes.
  • A person with a green thumb is someone who is skilled in gardening.
  • The Pentagon is the symbol of U.S. military leadership
  • England (signifies Great Britain).
  • Soldiers are represented by boots on the ground
  • Plastic or paper (significates type of shopping bag).
  • Stars and stripes signify the U.S. flag
  • Suits are a sign of people working in business.
  • Wheels signify a vehicle
  • Heaven is represented by the pearly gates
  • Behind bars (signifies being in jail)
  • Threads are used to signify clothing
  • Tickle the Ivories (signifies that you are playing piano keys).
  • Twinkle toes signify a dancer

Analyzing synecdoche in heart of darkness

Synecdoche in heart of darknessAchebe’s “An Image of Africa” explains a particular mode of description that I noticed Conrad use in relation to Africans. Conrad prefers to describe them as individuals rather than whole people. He uses parts of them or elements that have to do w/ them to depict individual Africans and groups. Conrad does this quite often, but a few instances are especially exemplary.

He mentions drums as a common sound, but it is the first time he uses them on page 17. This sound is used by him to express the mystery and wildness of a people who are not recognized.

When describing African men who hide in the bushes while they cross the river, he uses synecdoche once more: “I had considered the jungle on both banks quite impenetrable. Yet eyes were in it. Eyes that had seen us.” (Conrad 39).

As part of synecdoche in heart of darkness, Conrad uses eyes only to represent the Africans in fog. This disembodies them and conjures them with any other animal that might have eyes. Conrad also uses this device in an unusual literal sense when Marlow approaches Kurtz’s tent and notices that it is surrounded by heads mounted on poles (53).

The heads in this case represent a dual type of savagery: one, of the disembodied people they belonged (evident in Marlow’s description of their faces, which are leering inhuman) and the other, of the disembodied (at this point at least) man who placed them there.

Although synecdoche may not be the only tool Conrad uses to cast Africa as a “metaphysical battlefield devoid all recognizable humanity,” it’s an extremely powerful tool (Achebe 5). Conrad literally takes apart the humanity of “natives” by recognizing their individual parts and not their whole.

They are drums, eyes, and disembodied heads. Marlow may be ostensibly sympathetic, but they rarely appear to be people. This device is used to “[dehumanize] depersonalize” a section of the human race by denying them the bodies that could make them human (Achebe 5,). Although I don’t believe this is the best way to read Heart of Darkness it is certainly striking considering the constant presence of this device throughout the book.

The Indirect Narrative chain-the Slippage of Signifier -the Delayed Revelation

Besides synecdoche in heart of darkness, Conrad also uses indirect and direct revelation. Heart of Darkness is nothing but a series of encounters with reading and “something else”, which continue to unfold throughout the text’s various layers without allowing the reader to reach the core, the heart, of the matter. [271 Traditional narration is an enclosed system. It has a straight tread with an obvious beginning and end. Only by following this thread can the reader grasp the meaning of the text.Synecdoche in heart of darkness

Deconstructive perspectives show that the narration structure does not have a definite beginning or end. We cannot also see the meaning of the text through it. Miller states that “no single tread can be followed to the central point where it provides a way of controlling, overseeing and understanding the whole.” This allows for the possible openness to different meanings. Through an indirect narrative chain, the entire story of this novel is told by multiple narrators. This indirect narrative chain could be considered a relaying witness.

Relation between Synecdoche in Heart of Darkness and The Parable Of” Nut and Moonlit Haze: The “Figure of Figure”

According to traditional metaphysical theories, language meaning was divided into parabolic and original meanings. A word that is used is not part of the signifiable naturally but it is obliged to use that signifiable arbitrarily.

This is why metaphor places a word in a place it does not belong to.Y81 Truth is unknown, so the metaphorical substitute is the only language that aims to express truth.

It can be said, however, that language only belongs to the signified facts. The truth expressed through language is merely the metaphorical truth. Miller understands that all words are metaphorical.

He believes it is more accurate to say that all languages possess the characteristics of rhetorical tools than to say that rhetorical tools are created and transformed from correctly used language. The idea of linguistic notion/signifying function is merely an “imagination” that results from the deconstruction of the linguistic metaphorical “root”.

Synecdoche in heart of darknessThe pattern of all texts, whether metaphorical or metaphorical systems are included in language, is a figure. Figure is ineluctable. The text affirms the metaphors, but then deconstructs them. The text itself does the inevitable internal deconstruction. Text’s intrinsic nature determines that it not only inserts figure or figurative systems, but also deconstructs them and makes their nature understandable.

The figures of “nut” and “moonlit haze” represent the dismantlement. Analyzing the figures of “nut” and moonlit hazel, we can see the following two points: Conrad gives us two figures in the above quotation. One is the “kernel”, and the other is the “shell”.

Irony: It Undercuts, as It Affirms

Alongside Synecdoche in heart of darkness, Conrad also uses irony to put more emphasis on his message. Heart of Darkness is a deconstructionist irony. Marlow’s narrative is full of irony. It undercuts as well as affirms. Irony can be truth-telling, or a way of truth-telling. It is also a defense of truth.

It becomes the unreasonable of a fundamental indivisibility because it is double. Irony, while it serves as a defense, is inadvertently a way of participating. Kurtz is ironically one of the relay stations or speaking tubes through which the darkness speaks. “L441 An ironic statement is fundamentally indeterminate or undetermined in meaning.

Irony can lead to irony; irony behind irony is like the slipping of signifiers that never stops. Ironies multiply into many little conflicts of ironies. It is difficult to decide how one should read Marlow’s sardonic ironies.

It is difficult to determine which voice quality should prevail over others. Marlow’s tone is not clear and his meaning is unclear. His irony makes Marlow’s speech another version of the deceitful voice from the heart of dark, “a complaining voice, modulated with savage discords”,or “tumultuous, mournful uproar,” another form of that “one enormous jabber, silly atrocious sordid, savage or simply mean without any kind of understanding,” r45l Not a voice but voices. Ironies in Heart of Darkness clash with each other. The irony behind irony takes us further from the story.

Delayed Coding and Synecdoche in heart of darkness

Ian Watt, qtd., first mentioned delayed decoding. Warodell (2015): We don’t master situations in our daily life in a matter of seconds. This is not the case with most realist novels. Instead, we have to read the story for several hours before we can make any conclusions.

Delayed decoding is how we approach unfamiliar situations and decode things. Warodell (2015) suggests the following scene in which Marlow’s crew are attacked by natives after they have taken some firewood.

Until you reach the end of the section that says “Arrows!”, we don’t know the steamer is being shot at inside. (Conrad 2002, 149) The angle of Marlow is to discover what’s really going on after noticing a few details from his limited perspective first. These include the fact that the poleman abruptly abandons his duty, lies on the deck and the ducking by the fireman.

Marlow is not yet able to explain why these acts were carried out. The story then tells readers that sticks were being flown about. Instead of using the term ‘arrows’ directly the word “sticks” is used. Some straightforward-thinking readers may think that sticks imply arrows and they are being attacked, but Conrad still leaves some space for imagination here and it is possible that the sticks be harmless paper sticks, for example, and the ducking and lying can be some kind of unknown rituals for the natives.

Marlow is further doubtful about whether the attack is real. It is only at the end of the passage that Marlow realizes the steamer is under attack. (Conrad 2002,149). Contrary to realist fictions in which readers may first notice the attack and then the ducking, lying, and tranquility can be vividly described, realist fictions are somehow unlogical and non-real.

Conrad created the novella by using delayed decoding (presenting the event in fragments prior to telling the important parts). This made it more difficult to comprehend, but closer than realist fictions.

Synecdoche in heart of darkness and Streams of consciousness

A second technique, called stream of consciousness (Ali and Ali), is used in this novella. Stream of consciousness is how we think. It refers to how we tend to think.

Though logically presented thoughts are easier to understand, we often present them in public via various means. However, they are actually processed and rearranged random thoughts, and not the ‘realist”.

The modernist movement uses random thinking to express the truth on how we really think, especially in the becoming-more-complicated modernized world. Watt (2012) cites the following example of Watt’s use of the absurd ‘stream-of-consciousness’ technique.

Marlow was busy removing his shoe from the bloody helmsman’s foot during the attack. He suddenly regrets that he might die in the attack and may not be able see Kurtz.

After noticing the pain of black people and the hardships imposed by colonialism on their lives, Marlow’s thoughts turned to Nellie back in London. He responded to the absurdity of his English colleagues by empathizing for them (Watt 2012:25). Marlow then leapt to the future, reminiscing on the incident and laughing at the thought of death.

We were initially in the plot and then jumped into Marlow’s idea of prediction. This was followed by a review of the past and a jump forward to the future, reviewing the present. In real life, it is possible that we have attempted to review ourselves in the past. The past was, at one point, reviewing our present.Synecdoche in heart of darkness

Modernist fiction has shown how the brain works, and not in a linear manner, but in an illogical way. Conrad created the novella using stream of consciousness to achieve fragmentation, which means that the thinking is presented in fragments in an unlogical order. This makes it more difficult to comprehend, but closer than realist fictions.

Relation of Irony and Synecdoche in heart of darkness

Defamiliarization can also be achieved by various methods, including irony or controversial endings. Paul A. Bove (1982) claims that irony is “essentially the modern attitude in mind, the vision of the 20th century’s industrial”. Alan Wilde views it as a “transcendental mode or consciousness” (qtd. Bove 1982:245.

Modern irony can be used to decry premodern traditions, such as White Man’s Burden and absurdity of religion. Conrad uses the irony technique to defamiliarize subjects and concepts in his novella and helps us embrace modernity.