The Frame Structure In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

2158 Words9 Pages
In Joseph's Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness, Marlow narrates his journey to the dark and mysterious Congo. As a young sailor looking for a job, Marlow finds himself sailing to the Congo for one of Belgium's ivory companies. Marlow travels to one of the stations, where he meets the manager and is tasked with bringing back a renowned ivory collector in the interior, Kurtz. Sailing into the foggy Congo river, Marlow faces an attack from a nearby African tribe, and subdues them with the ship's blow horn. Arriving at the inner station, Marlow meets a Russian harlequin, a follower of Kurtz, who describes his experience with Kurtz. Disgusted with the conditions in the camp, Marlow nonetheless takes Kurtz aboard the ship. iling back, Marlow is impressed by Kurtz's eloquence, and becomes…show more content…
Exhausted from this wild and absurd journey to the Congo, Marlow sails back to Europe, where he gives Kurtz's papers to a company associate, a journalist, Kurtz's cousin, and Kurtz's Intended (fiancée). Similar to Wuthering Heights, Heart of Darkness implements a frame structure to amplify Marlow's tale. The majority of the novella revolves around Marlow's narration of his journey, with the narrator listening intently to Marlow. However, although the outside story seems to be secondary to the interior story, Conrad dismisses the reader's claim by stating “the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside”, suggesting that the narrator's reaction is just as important as Marlow's story.(6) Interestingly, Conrad's immersion with one character's physical and psychological experience in the Congo represents the social phenomenon of European Imperialism as a whole. Conrad explores all the themes related to Imperialism, including oppression, madness, hypocrisy, and wilderness. The overall image of Imperialism painted from this novella is a dark one, speckled with uncertainty, confusion, and
Open Document