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 borther hitting and knocking Ysrael out. For this book most of the organization for the whole heros journey is all around the whole book since each story is in its own timeline.
When Marlow first heard about Mr. Kurtz, that he was a first class agent in Africa, he was very disappointed about this information. At first Marlow doesn’t really know what he should think about Kurtz. The fact is that everybody seems to adore him. But Marlow has a strong personality. He does what seems right to him. He thinks about the things he does and he doesn’t do what all the others do. But he wants to know more about him, because Kurtz is for him a big secret and he wants to find out more about him, before he is making his own opinion about him. When Marlow has got more to do with the others he finds out more and more about Kurtz. He begins to study the history of Kurtz. The people talk about Kurtz. The once that want make a lot of money there seem to hate him, because he is very powerful. The once that don’t know Kurtz that much, like some workers at the station, adore him. Marlow doesn’t understand all that. After some time, when Marlow knows more about Kurtz he gets also more and more interested in him. Because he finds out that a lot of people say bad things about him, some because they are jealous, because he is so mighty, some because he is mad and because they are happy, because they might get his job and all the money they get by doing what Kurtz did.
Marlow is not interested in Kurtz’s job, because he doesn’t want all the money and he doesn’t want to be adored by everybody. He also wants to know more about him, because of the way he has to die. Kurtz had seemed to work all his life to be adored by everybody. But in the end everybody is just waiting for his death and they all want the ivory that he got before and the money that he earned by having all the ivory. When Marlow meets Kurtz he has no real opinion about him. He isn’t sure if Kurtz is mad or not. But when Kurtz has told Marlow why he chose this life in the heart of darkness, Marlow does understand him more or less. Now he wants to know everything about him, to read his texts, to listen to his adventures and what Kurtz knows about the black continent. But Kurtz dies before Marlow was able to talk to him about all those things. Marlow respects Kurtz and his decisions, and also Kurtz respects Marlow, but they weren’t friends, they just had no other. In the end of the story, when Marlow meets Kurtz’s wife, he has realized that Kurtz was a sort of universal genius, because he had read Kurtz texts and was really fascinated.
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.
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.