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Word Count: 539
Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness is a link between Victorian and modern literary values and ideals something which is evident in his writing Victorian values focused on heroism whilst modern ideals are more centered on being criticalConrads hero is Marlow a sailor but Marlow still criticises contemporary colonialism and imperialism and Conrad has set the story on a stage other than Europe Conrads criticisms are voiced through Marlow and although he could be considered Conrads mouthpiece this is not necessarily true To provide some space and objectivity between the main narrator Marlow and his own personal story Conrad makes use of a first person narrator who tells the story as he is listening to Marlows story the nameless first narrator is used in the first of two settings on the ship the Nellie and Marlows story itself begins in Brussels continues to a ship which then sails to the Congo and after visiting various locations along the Congo River the story ends back in Europe The setting aboard the Nellie and the first narrator create a narrative framework for the novella and for Marlows own story Marlow is an introspective sailor and is served to the reader in the form of the traditional herotough honest and a capable and independent thinker but he also appears as a broken man the world has defeated him in some way which also makes him sceptical weary and cynical of the world Marlow tells the yarn in an attempt to educate his fellow crew in the understanding of the world beyond oneself and in the judgement of other people The novella is intended to be a commentary on the imperialistic exploitation of Africa so he Conrad provided Marlow with an audience of his fellow tools of exploitation By manipulating the reactions and thoughts of Marlows audience Conrad supplies an example of how he would like his own audience to react listen to the story slowly abandon rationalizations
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