Analysis Of Marlow And Kurtz In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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One of the central plots in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is Marlow’s attachment to Mr. Kurtz. There are several suggestions in Marlow’s character and narrative that give us insight to the possible reasons that may have resulted in his strange and ironic attachment to Kurtz. The focus of this essay will be on Marlow’s style of narration and his representation of Kurtz. These central issues will be dealt with through the lenses of three core traits that Marlow exhibits which are curiosity, perceptiveness and adventurousness. I will argue that Marlow and Mr. Kurtz become agents in each other’s lives through Marlow’s attachment to Kurtz and explore how the narrative suggests the emergence of modernist ideals. I propose that there is a constant…show more content…
Knowles notes that “the omniscient narration [that has] a singleness of focus and sparkling sarcasm that are the strengths of the story” (xv). Conrad’s use of two narrators highlights the modernist themes of the novel such as Marlow’s alienation as well as his hope for ascent from the darkness of colonisation. Marlow has some characteristics that are similar to those of the speaker in T. S Eliot’s poem The Preludes, he is alienated and his narrative holds on to the hope of progress and an end to colonisation. Hope that promises that positive change will occur as shown through Marlow’s explanation of Kurtz’s last words, “The Horror” (179). Most of the novel is told from Marlow’s point of view. This begs us to question how accurate is his representation of Kurtz is? Just how frightening is the interior of the Congo? Can we assume that Marlow is being truthful to us as he is not above lying to make a point (as with the Intended)? And would it matter if he weren't? These are several questions that a reader…show more content…
In Heart of Darkness, the use of irony deepens the effect of melancholy and sadness which is found in the fundamental atmosphere of the story. Irony improves the sorrow which we, experience when we read about the unexpected transformation which comes over Kurtz. Similarly we feel a deep regret at the moral deterioration which unexpectedly takes place in Marlow and when he forgoes his moral compass and lies to Kurtz’s fiancée when we have the knowledge of his deep hatred of liars and
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