Close To The Heart Of Darkness

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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Close to the Heart of Darkness (a close reading of a passage from the novel) The passage from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness that I am going to examine is a turning point in the novel. The main character, Marlow, and together with him the reader finally arrive at the rim of darkness. Throughout the pervious pages of the novel, there have been hints of the futility, ruthlessness, and absurdity of life at the frontier of the civilized world (for both "˜civilized' and "˜savage' people), but this is the point when the reader is first let into the mysteries that will have to be revealed later on in the novel. This is when the strange and perilous journey of an ambitious young man begins to turn into an unspeakable and incomprehensible expedition into the unknown. In the following paragraphs I will try to reveal those elements, which imply and prepare what is to come, and which create the unique atmosphere of the text.

Narration The story of the novel is brought to the reader as if the account of first-hand experiences by a sailor named Marlow. The reader is made believe that Marlow is a very credible storyteller. First of all, he is talking to a small group of old friends. He is also very sincere, and tells details, which do not show him in the best light. Furthermore, he has no interest in not telling the truth, as he is merely entertaining his friends with a story of days long past, thinking to himself and commenting the incidents on the way. Although Marlow is remembering, there is a feeling as if the plot happened to him in present time: he is often surprised at the course of events, and does not know what is coming next. Nor does he...