All throughout the book, Conrad uses images of light and dark. In the beginning, he describes the Thames as the day mixes with night as the tide is turning. Whilst in the Congo, he describes the natives as dark figures moving about. Initially, cleanly and lightly colored (both in skin and physical apparel) are considered good- as a general statement. Sometimes Conrad follows the stereotypical meanings of light and dark as good and bad, but he also strays from the stereotypes as well. The French (as ordered by Kurtz), whom are lightly colored, lay fire on Marlow’s boat without a truly reasonable explanation. The accountant (also lightly colored) simply dismisses the deaths that surround him as nuisances- even the deaths of his own race. This lack of concern he displays is what one would stereotypically define as bad. Even though it is slightly confusing at first, the way that Conrad alters his narration by making Marlow jump back and forth in time makes the reader fully appreciate the plot and meaning while also complimenting Conrad’s romantic style. Marlow frequently mentions Kurtz before we are officially introduced to him. An upside of doing so, Conrad is allowing the reader to be tossed around Kurtz’s rumor-mill and to draw their own opinions on the infamous man of great abilities before actually meeting him. A downside to constantly switching time via narration is that it makes time hard to pin-point in the novella. Essentially, the novel had three narrators: Conrad, Marlow, and the nameless “I.” My problem with thrice narrators is that the trio never really seems to be 100% in-sync due to the multiple personalities. In the beginning “I”’s tone seems to be that of admiration when speaking of Marlow as he notes Marlow’s manner and self-knowledge f not wanting to talk just to hear the sound of his own voce. Conrad always seems to know what’s going on because he had the underlying omniscient voice. The problem, for me, lies between Marlow and...
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