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Heart of Darkness

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In Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, Marlow serves as a bridge between the two other main characters--The Intended who is rather civilized and good natured and Kurtz who has become accustomed to savagery and lost his civility and is no longer good natured. Although Marlow is a civilized man, he does not assimilate with either of these views, which provides for a neutral viewpoint. This being said, his lack of an opinion does not bias the theme of the story.

Marlow's moral ambiguity lets him serve as another narrator to this novel. He provides the information without bias so the reader can interpret the story in their opinion. His example of the Congo River and its civilizing is a fine example. He shows of how man can be tamed but it shows how their ways of life, or pure savagery, have been ruptured. It also shows how men have a little bit of civility in each other, since they have become far less unruly. Marlow shows both sides to be neither good nor evil, allowing the reader to make their own assumptions.

Marlow, throughout the course of the novel and up the Congo, reveals his lack of favoritism towards civility and savagery. Marlow does not judge or make prejudices towards the civilized or savage of Africa, he just shows different example of the different kinds of people that populate the region of the Congo. When Marlow reaches one of the stations alongside the river he meets the Accountant. Marlow ponders as to how this man has stayed this civilized in the vicious land for so long. On the other side of the bridge, the reader is shown the savage people further down the river. He views the natives dancing, and wants to join but does not due to his lack of time, since they have lost so much to begin with. Marlow's stories show the progression of the novel and the journey, not the progression of savages and civilized people.

The role of Marlow helps aid in this story's telling, not leading to the readers getting bogged down with opinions. Lack of bias and showing no sign of nepotism towards civility or savagery lets Marlow provide more information to the reader.



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