View Full Version : Is there a significance with the repetition of words?

04-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Throughout the first part of Heart of Darkness I have noticed a great amount with the usage of repeating words. I can not figure out the signicance of this writing technique, and ask if anyone else has figured it out or has noticed it.:confused:

11-10-2007, 12:32 PM
what wods you found there been repeating?

12-02-2007, 01:59 AM
umm... I have noticed this repetition in his short story "Youth", with:
"...pass the bottle"
It obviously meant that the narrator and his companions were drinking together, but at the end of the story, I learned it held a deeper significance to the camaraderie of ship-men who had 'gone through it all'..

02-04-2008, 07:16 PM
lol We're studying Heart of Darkness in class, and we figure he just loves the words "brooding" and "inscrutable." English was his third language, and I guess he just liked certain words. Just like Jane Austen liked the word "tolerable"--she used it at least once on every page. Maybe they're "fad" words or something. Repeating words can mean something--like crazefes said. I think Conrad did want the general tone to come out as really dark and unfathomable. Anything can be the reason, as long as you can back it up, right?

07-23-2008, 09:43 AM
I agree, I tihnk he just likes certain words. I have also noticed that H.G Wells does the same thing in War fof The Worlds within the first few chapters. Maybe its a 19th Century novel thing!

06-17-2010, 03:27 AM
I found myself asking this very same question under a week ago. Why does Conrad get so repetitive with particular words. I have been reading many of his works lately and I have found this to be a common theme. The repetitive words vary from work to work. I noticed in Victory that he used the words "confounded" and "languid" an absurd number of times. I came upon these two words so often that I had to look up the proper definitions online to make sure I wasn't missing an important element of the story. Ironically, upon finishing Victory I had a general aftertaste of confusion and felt unmotivated and discouraged with my life. These happen to be the definitions of Conrad's repetitive words...