Charlie Marlow As A Narrator In Heart Of Darkness

559 words - 2 pages

Some of the things you have discovered about Charlie Marlow as a
Narrator in Heart of Darkness.

In Heart of Darkness, the main story teller is Charlie Marlow. Based
on a boat waiting for the turn of the tide on the river Thames, he
tells his crew of his journey into the African Congo.

In the opening pages Marlow is described as looking like some kind of
idol; "he had the pose of a Buddha preaching" this relates to his
somewhat philosophical way of recounting his tale, as a narrator
Marlow often deflects from the story, he is vague and thinks very
deeply about Imperialism- one of the main themes in heart of darkness.
When Marlow states, "I had got a heavenly mission to civilize you," he
expresses his good intentions to help the Africans progress and
advance. Furthermore, when he says, "I was an impostor," Marlow seems
to recognize the fact that he is an unjustified invader into a foreign
land. During the book there are many hints at his unease towards
various events he's witnessed. His first arrival in the Congo when he
comes into contact with a chain gang; "For a moment I stood appalled"
is a reference to his good sense overriding his conscience. He is only
appalled for a moment, before turning away and choosing to look no
more. It's clear that if he wants to get on well in his new job he
must 'go along' with what the company wants. Even though he points out
their faults, he is accepting, although often sarcastic at the same
time; "the great cause of those high and just proceedings."

There is something very believable about Marlow, in his observation of
'darkness' or 'evil' he is sympathetic towards the natives and
disapproves of their treatment but at the same time he is reluctant to
physically act upon his...

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