Essay Title: 


March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american literature, literature and language

Your First and Last Name

Instructor ‘s Title and Last Name

Course Department and Number


Marlow in Conrad ‘s Heart of Darkness

In Heart of Darkness Conrad tries to deal with issues which are almost inexpressible . The mysterious effect of the jungle wilderness on Kurtz and on Marlow himself , puzzles the imagination and bewilders the understanding . We might ask why Conrad chooses to tell the story through the character of Marlow , rather than simply to set it as a first person narrative . The story is , in fact , about Kurtz [banner_entry_middle]

, and about the way that contact with the primitive touches on the reality beneath human civilization , but it is also part of Marlow ‘s autobiography . Marlow is a character , not just a narrative voice , and his characterization enables us to judge and understand what he tells us . He stands for certain impressive values – the practicality of the seaman ‘s life , the belief in the value of work , the refusal to judge too quickly , and the calmness of mind which allows him to consider and respond to the ambiguities in Kurtz ‘s experience . With his detached and skeptical manner , the fruit of a life among practical things , he makes the extraordinary story as believable as is possible . We do not identify with him exactly , and he is not simply the voice of Conrad , but he is a convincing and unpretentious narrator who offers us glimpses into the ineffable

Much of the earlier part of the novel is concerned with establishing Marlow ‘s character and credentials as a narrator . The actual narrator who speaks on the first page tells us that Marlow is the sort of seaman who is trustworthiness personified (5 . But he is not typical (8 ) in that to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside , enveloping the tale (8 , which perhaps prepares us for Marlow ‘s attempt to convey to us the scale of his experience and its importance . The maritime traditions and habits of mind are central to Marlow . He values work over fantasy . At the jungle station I went to work . In that way only it seemed to me I could keep my hold on the redeeming facts of life (33 , which is a vital and mature desire in him . His instincts are to reject nonsense and absurdity and stick to the real . Talking to the ridiculous agent at the station , this papier-mwchy Mephistopheles (37 , he tells us of his horror of lies not because he is particularly virtuous , but because there is a taint of death , a flavour of mortality in lies – which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world (38-9 . The agent ‘s insinuating invitation to Marlow to accept his petty corruptions meets with an instinctive shudder that speaks for his integrity . Every man wants to get on , says the agent . What more did I want ? What I really wanted was rivets , by heaven ! Rivets . To get on with the work (40 . There is something… [banner_entry_footer]


This author has published 9453 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.
Did you like this essay sample?

You must be logged in to post a comment.