Getting Back to the Heart of the Matter

15 Jul

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So, it turns out that Heart of Darkness (where they believe in a thing called love) is actually fairly short (I’m about 2/3 of the way through it already – though it helps that it’s not Dracula), and yet there are still minor characters who are written with an accent. Not too bad so far though.

There’s quite an interesting framing device, in that the story is told by a narrator, who is listening to a story told by another character (named Marlow). There’s an overall impression that the tale is, while not necessarily outright false, somewhat… aggrandised, though it’s not always clear who’s behind this. Let me give an example: a character is recorded as saying something. The reader discovers that this statement is false. Who was lying? The character? Marlow saying that was what the character said? Or the narrator relating Marlow’s tale?

Generally, Marlow’s tale seems to be building towards disillusionment, in that he has traveled to “dark places” (in this case, darkest Africa, up a river in the Congo) out of curiosity – a desire to find out what is beyond the edge of the map – but he seems to be finding that the other people there are only interested in exploiting the resources of a place out of the reach of traditional societal controls.

I guess I’ll find out.

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Posted by on July 15, 2010 in Heart of Darkness


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