Throughout this whole semester, out of all the books we have read I feel that “The Heart of Darkness” has a good comparison with Drown. Seeing how The Heart of Darkness is a harder read compared to Drown, both of the stories main characters have similar experience’s that occur to them in both stories. Even though they have to whole different type of themes and a whole different time period, both stories still have a lot of similarities that are easy to just be seen through.
Let’s start with Yunior’s hero journey in Drown. First off, the world of common day for him is back in Dominican Republic with his brother and his mom. The call of adventure can be when he and his brother go on a look out for Ysrael. He doesn’t refuse the call for adventure, so that’s that. His adventure ended with Yunior and his brother finding Ysrael, and his brother hitting and knocking Ysrael out. Once in the U.S. we see how his Dad really is and how his family is built going forward. Moving forward we see him a bit more grown now, going to High School. This point his dad isn’t in the picture or his brother Rafa. During this time we learn about his best friend Beto and the sexual interactions they had together before he left off to college. Going forward we learn that hes actually even more grown now. Having a job selling pool tables and slanging on the side was his way of Money. At this point it’s still just him and his mom in the house hold. We learn about his sexual relations with other women and his ex that he hardly stops talking about. Once we learn that he went to go speak to the women that his dad left for earlier in his life while he was back in Dominican Republic. For this book most of the organization for the whole hero’s journey is all around the whole book since each story is in its own timeline.
In the Heart of Darkness, Marlow hero’s journey doesn’t have the best of start either. Starts off with Marlow on the ship, explain to his fellow sailors about his voyage in Africa. He speaks on how his aunt gets him the job working with the company in Africa. He doesn’t refuse the call and accepts the offer. The first threshold is when he is getting off the steamer from his aunts place and sets out on his own way to Africa. Once there Marlow notices the difference compared to where he is custom too. He begins his journey, traveling to the station where he finds his ship was wrecked. Then after fixing the boat he is only his way to meet this “great” man by the name of Kurtz. Marlow finally meets Kurtz, which they eventually end up spending a lot of time together. Marlow is astonished by Kurtz and his work, his thoughts, etc… Kurtz dies leaving Marlow to look at all his belongings with admiration.
Looking at both journeys, we see that both characters didn’t really have much family in their life at that point. Both don’t refuse the call and go on forward to the adventure.
Loyalty is also involved in Drown, but not the same way it was shown in the Heart of Darkness. In Drown we see how Yunior’s father loyalty towards his family throughout the book. In the second story of the book, we actually learn that his father has this other women that only Yunior and his brother know about. After a while we notice that his father doesn’t seem to be brought up as much. We get to see the perspective of Yunior living without his dad back in Dominican Republic and the U.S. At this point in his life it seemed like Yunior throughout the book has been trying to find that manly figure. We don’t really end up knowing what happened to his brother and when his dad is brought up it isn’t mixed with something good. Towards the end of the book we start learning about a past girlfriend that Yunior had. Yunior seems to always reminisce about this girl in Edison, New Jersey. He’d point out “I haven’t wanted to talk about women in months, not since the girlfriend. Knowing this and reading the way he speaks on her, it seems like the girl turned out to be disloyal. As we learn about this ex-girlfriend we also see how his dad’s disloyal experience’s from his perspective. He shows us that from the jump when they were really young his dad was already disloyal in Dominican Republic. After borrowing from Yunior’s grandpa, he promised to send money from the states to get them over there. First years he sends barely any money and he’d spend most of it in the bar with his friends. Once at New York he has gone broke and he just stopped sending mail and money. He had met this woman and they had ended up having a kid. His dad wasn’t even bothered by his whole other family back in Dominican Republic. No money sent, no mail, nothing. It had been years already at that point, and he was over this women. So he left her and went back with his first family, which is the beginning of the second story. Seeing his point of view and his experience’s we learn how disloyal he was towards his kids and his wife, so he starts a whole new family.
In both stories loyalty seems to be in action in both books. In the Heart of Darkness, Marlow seems to grow as the book goes on from the very beginning it seemed like Marlow seems to be fascinated in him. He heard that he was an agent in Africa where his ship was going towards. He notices that a lot of people seem to like him. He starts to become more interested about this Kurtz guy. The more and more he starts finding about Kurtz the way people spoke about him as an important and special person. From here on out he begins to study Kurtz. He seems to notice the variety of people that hate him and the ones that like him. The ones in the station seem to just worship Kurtz. The rest that knew about his money and power seemed to hate him. At this point Marlow seems confused. Learning more and more about Kurtz by others the interest towards Kurtz grew. He notices that the ones that speak bad on Kurtz are jealous people want to be in his position. Marlow seems to not be concerned about what Kurtz job is. Towards the end it just seems like everybody is against Kurtz except Marlow. Everybody seems to want him to die. When Kurtz and Marlow speak on his choice of his life full of evil, he seems to look at him as an idol as a father figure he never had. This makes him more eager to know everything about him. He wants to listen to his stories, texts, and his kingdom of ivory. In the mist of all this, Kurtz ends up dying, leaving Marlow thinking. They both to have had some type of respect for eachother. Marlow was loyal towards Kurtz through his decisions.
As the title would suggest, “Drown” uses water to symbolize how the pleasures Yunior’s youth—including swimming—contribute to a growing sense of confinement as he ages. Yunior’s narrative revolves around his neighborhood pool, which is initially the fun destination of his adolescent summer nights with Beto. Surrounded by a plastic fence that is (increasingly) hard to climb, the pool is a sacred space of adolescent freedom where Yunior and Beto are able to establish their brotherhood and where Yunior can go in his later years to find the stillness, quiet, and solitude that he cannot get at home. However, throughout the story, the pool takes on a more negative cast. It is an intimate and sometimes scarily exposed space: Yunior and Beto watch neighborhood boys pull off a teenage girl’s bikini top, undressing her without her consent. Similarly, Both of Beto’s sexual advances happen after the two boys have been swimming, so they are already in intimate proximity and in various stages of undress both physically and emotionally. As the pool becomes associated with the difficulties of adulthood, rather than their carefree childhood romps, it parallels the other aspects of Yunior’s life that were once comfortable and are now perhaps stifling: living in his mother’s house, for example, or shoplifting once the legal consequences become clear. Despite the pool’s growing negative associations, Yunior can’t seem to shake free of it: the water still provides him solace and comfort, even if it is through adult solitude instead of youthful companionship.
Symbol 2: The Congo River
Another symbol in the Heart of Darkness is the Congo River. First of all, the river symbolizes movement toward a goal. It’s the only way the British have of getting to the center of the continent where the most ivory is, so it steers them towards their goal. It also moves Marlow toward his goal of reaching Kurtz.
The river also symbolizes the separateness of the outsiders, the colonizers. Marlow and the other people on the steamboat rarely go ashore. In many cases they simply can’t because of the dense vegetation. The river physically and symbolically keeps them separate from the natives, who live on shore. Other than Marlow’s crew, when we encounter natives it is almost exclusively onshore