Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness

Book Report/Review
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Heart of Darkness is a famous novel by Joseph Conrad which narrates the story of Marlow, an Englishman, who makes a journey through the African jungle on a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. The novel is recognized as an important link between Victorian and modern literary values and ideals and the narrative strategy of the author has contributed to the success of the novel.


Marlow narrates his tale while he is on a small vessel on the Thames with some drinking buddies who are ex-merchant seamen and the group sits in sweeping darkness and passes around the bottle when he recounts his story. "The form of Heart of Darkness and its thematics are so closely intertwined as to be virtually inseparable. Ambiguities, uncertainties, and ironies are echoed in the layered narrative structure of the novella, through which it is often impossible to be sure of one's bearings In its destiny the style has tellingly been likened to a tropical forest. This is most obviously the case with Conrad's strategy of including narratives within Marlow's narrative, and enclosing Marlow's narrative within that of another narrator." (Goonetilleke, 29) Therefore, a reflective exploration of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness confirms that Marlow's tale is framed by a larger narrative that makes him into a kind of storyteller and this narrative structure affects Marlow's reliability as a narrator.
A careful analysis of the structure of Heart of Darkness confirms that it becomes lucid that the novelist has been effective in the use of the narrative technique of Framed Narrative, in which Marlow's ...
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