Heart of Darkness Thematic Questions

Topics: Heart of Darkness, First-person narrative, Joseph Conrad Pages: 4 (1334 words) Published: December 19, 2013

In Heart of Darkness, Marlow is telling a long story to his fellow shipmates so to avoid confusion, Conrad only names the important characters. Each named character is important to the novella and those without a name have no real significance to the plot. Marlow is the protagonist of the novella and the first person narrator so his importance is what the novella is based off of. Kurtz was the major reason Marlow traveled into the Congo and when Marlow finally meets Kurtz, Marlow’s views on the world and life are changed. Fresleven the Dane does not play as big of a role in the story as Marlow and Kurtz but what he stands for is important. Conrad used Fresleven as a vector of foreshadow by demonstrating the effect the Congo had on him and how it Marlow could be similarly effected. Also, by giving him the title of Dane, Conrad points out that Fresleven was not as important as Marlow and Kurtz. By having the unimportant characters in the novella be described by their job title, Conrad makes an interesting point; the only reason the nameless characters are in the novella is because their job influences the characters with names. Conrad wants to make the point that your job should not consume your life and should not define you.

Marlow’s connection between early London and Africa is a direct correlation to the conquering done by the Romans and the conquering being conducted by Marlow’s crew. In both situations, a superior force in both military strength and power conquer a “savage people” in an untamed land. Conrad begins the novella with this connection to make the reader realized that Marlow knows that what was done was unjust. Also, Marlow makes this point in a boat on the Thames, which drives home his point to his crewmates because the connection lies before their eyes.

Marlow does not agree with his aunt’s belief and actually says “she made me quite uncomfortable.” Marlow sees this as an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream and...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Unanswered Questions in Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Essay about Heart of Darkness
  • Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Heart of Darkness Essay
  • Heart of Darkness Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free