Creeping in Essay

Submitted By axelalexaxela
Words: 799
Pages: 4

There is always a reason behind it; a terrible childhood, an unstable mind, or an emotional event. Madness creeps into lives and takes over, leaving no control for the body it inhabits. This insanity is a reoccurrence in many novels, mostly because it is one characteristic many readers have not, and hopefully will not, experience. In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, madness attacked many of the characters as they traveled deeper into the heart of Africa, much like the characters who fell into the grasps of madness during the Vietnam War in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This madness continues to contaminate yet another life in Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, where the narrator started to lose his mind because of a tapping noise and began having hallucinations of the talking bird. These three pieces of literature all show characters who were pushed to the point of no return and then willingly gave in and allowed the madness to take control.
Symbols are used to characterize the madness in each piece. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz went crazy and his insanity was shown through “those heads on stakes” (Conrad 123), Mary Anne in The Things They Carried wore the “necklace of human tongues” (O’Brien 110). The necklace of tongues symbolized her true love for Vietnam even though she was only there for a short while. She fell in love with the jungle and the people and let the madness control her, therefore wore the necklace of tongues and lived in the house with the piles of skulls. Just like Mary Ann, Kurtz showed his craziness through being selfish and controlling everything he touched because he believed that “everything belonged to him” (Conrad 101). His power led to his insanity and therefore he staked heads in front of his house to show his control over everyone. Relating to Kurtz and Mary Ann, the character in The Raven goes insane because of his hallucinations. He states that “suddenly there came a tapping” at his “chamber door” and he starts going crazy over the tapping noise. And then when he realizes that there was nothing outside his door except “darkness there, and nothing more”. The darkness represents the characters’ madness as it starts taking over the characters’ mind and controlling him. He becomes overwhelmed with the noise and goes crazy because he doesn’t know what is causing it. The character also imagines the raven and how it was “sitting lonely on the placid bust” much like how the character was sitting alone in his chamber, locked away to say nothing but words to himself. His imagination of the raven symbolizes the character as dark and alone, Also the bird only speaks one word, which is what the character says when he shouts “Lenore” and states he says “merely this and nothing more.” Throughout the poem and novels the characters are overwhelmed with their insanity and each character shows their madness through symbols and things they do.
Depending on each character, their surroundings affect their madness as well. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz was seen to have “such an enlarged…