The tone of the book "Heart of Darkness" by Conrad.

Essay by Bentley11High School, 12th gradeA-, January 2003

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Heart of Darkness

Per 1st A.P. English


A tone of fascination dominates Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'. This tone is established early within the text when Marlow first goes into the Congo. It continues to be staggering when Marlow goes from the outer station to the inner and then intensifies later in the description of how Marlow reacts to the women in the novella.

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1. Marlow is an adventure seeker. When most men fear the unknown Marlow isn't afraid. His fear is replaced by fascination.

A. His journey to the Congo starts when he was a young boy. Marlow states that he had an exploring passion before he begins his story. "When I was a little chap I had a passion for maps...and say, 'When I grow up I will go there.'" He's fascinated with maps. All he thought about, as a boy, was adventure and exploration.

His actions are quite evident in the way he talks about the events preceding going to Africa. He goes because he is curious.

B. Then fascination turns to mystery when Marlow goes to the inner station. He finds a note about half way there that reads - "wood for you, hurry up, approach cautiously". Marlow goes on to say, "Something was wrong above. But what - and how much?" Most men would turn to fear when in the middle of a jungle with a warning of danger ahead. Marlow feels not fear but anxiousness. There is a rushed feeling in Marlows' commentary after he reads the warning. He is even more curious now than before hand.

C. Even after a trip to a 'Heart of Darkness' Marlow continues to be a sailor. In fact, while he is telling his tale he is about to embark on another one. He...