Character analysis of Marlow - Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
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Character Analysis Marlow Marlow is the protagonist in Heart of Darkness and is throughout the novel, mostly the narrator. He takes the place of a riverboat captain who died from a scuffle with the natives. In the beginning of the novel, he does not expect the experiences he was going to receive. He journeys through the Congo, trying to find the man called Kurtz. However, he becomes obsessed with meeting Kurtz, becoming more curious as he got closer towards him. However, through his experiences at the Congo, he witnesses the violence and greed of the Europeans and notes the similarities between the white people and the natives.
However, he does frown upon the white people's greed and violence, which shows that he is moral and not completely racist. "It was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage." He even admits that he is only an observer. He is a moral guide for the readers of the book. Marlow also identified himself to Kurtz, which makes his search more of an obsession. Kurtz become a powerful attraction. He is a reflection of Kurtz, and we see what Marlow could become from looking at Kurtz. One of the differences is that Kurtz falls into the darkness, and Marlow narrowly escapes it.
Kurtz could be seen as Marlow's alter ego. He believes that Kurtz will tell him things that he has never known. It feels as if more is known about Kurtz than is known about Marlow, even though Kurtz is a bit more than a voice. Even though Marlow journeys to find Kurtz, what he really is trying to find is the heart of darkness. He undoubtedly does find it, but he finds it within himself. This new wisdom has made him look differently towards his civilized society. He claims that they will never ever know what true strength is. He also comments that civilized societies are ignorant and the change that he has gone through will never let him converse with these people normally ever again.
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