Isolation is a very important theme highlighted by the dark imagery in the novels. Isolation, in this context, refers to alienation from the society and the world. In Broken April, Kadare uses dark images to portray the feeling of isolation in Gjorg’s mind and from his society. For e. g. the use of darkness in the lines ‘Suddenly, on the highroad, with the night coming on, he was seized by a dark premonition… claim the protection due to a guest’5, show that Gjorg felt as if he was separated from the world.
He was blinded by the darkness and he felt isolated because there was ‘not a house, not a living soul’ around him from whom he could ‘claim protection’. Furthermore, when he was dying, he thinks of the black ox6, which still had not been sold. Here, the author is comparing Gjorg to the black ox. Black signifies isolation. Gjorg, like the black ox, was isolated from society and there was nothing he could do about it. Similarly, isolation is another important aspect of Said’s character, which is constantly symbolized by darkness.Order now
For e.g. the image of darkness in the line ‘Through the open door… its thick darkness unrelieved by a single glimmer of light’7, shows that Said felt that he was like the wasteland. A wasteland signifies a barren, empty stretch of land and it is a metaphor, which signifies Said’s status in society. He too was like a wasteland, empty, isolated and distanced from the society. Also, the mention of darkness in the line ‘Suddenly the blinding light went out and the firing stopped… all the world seemed gripped in a strange stupefaction.
‘8, implies that death had once and for all alienated him from the world by taking him away from it. The dark imagery, in this case, is symbolic of death and alienation. In addition to the symbols of fear and isolation, loneliness is another important theme that darkness is symbolic of. The authors have portrayed the protagonist’s as lonely and abandoned people. In Broken April, Gjorg was compelled to kill the member of the Kryeqyqe family, and after that he spent his 30-day truce on his own, submerged in his loneliness.
In the Kulla of Orosh, he was alone and was left in semi-darkness9 with unknown people around him. Although the 74 towers in the Plateau were a place of refuge, they made Gjorg feel lonely, ‘scattered’, ‘dark’ and ‘forbidden’10 because he would be there all by himself until ‘Aprildeath’ i. e. the day he was to be killed. Similarly, in The Thief and the Dogs, the author has used darkness to portray Said’s loneliness. For e. g. the darkness in the lines ‘The shadows are lengthening now…
but you can’t switch on the light. ’11 show that he felt lonely waiting alone at Nurs house because he had no companionship. In addition, the silence of the graves made him feel even more lost and instilled fear and loneliness in his mind. Furthermore, the lines ‘You’ll have to put up with the dark, the silence, and the loneliness- for as long as the world refuses to change its naughty ways’12, implies that he felt the world had abandoned him and he had no option but to face the fact that he was lonely in this world.
His ideals and concepts were different from the rest of society and according to him until the world does not change its ideals, he will always be lonely, isolated and scared. Also, the image of darkness in the lines ‘in deep despair, delirious in the silence and dark… sleep finally overcame him. ’13, show that after Nur had suddenly disappeared he felt even more lonely and lost, since now he had no one to talk to, to confide in, to make love to and no one who cared for him. In conclusion, we can see the predominant use of darkness in these two novels, and how they are used to depict the protagonist’s state of mind.
The protagonist’s relate most of their thoughts to darkness. They view everything in a dark manner. Their feelings, thoughts and actions are all a reflection of their dark minds. Isolation from society has leaded them to view the world as a dull place to live in. The author has used the image of darkness to relate to their thoughts and feelings because dark objects are referred to as gloomy, shadowy and dull objects. Likewise, Gjorg and Said have very gloomy, dull and depressed lives.