• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does the preparation for the river journey at the start of Heart of Darkness prepare the reader for the themes, imagery and narrative technique of the remainder of the novel?

Extracts from this document...


How does the preparation for the river journey at the start of Heart of Darkness prepare the reader for the themes, imagery and narrative technique of the remainder of the novel? The tone at the start of the novel is grim and sets the scene for the rest of the narrative. This is shown when the frame narrator says brooding gloom and mournful gloom (page 31 and 33) it can give the idea that the rest of the novel will follow path and be grim as the first pages are. It also introduces the themes of the rest of the novel when the frame narrator talks about Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Franklin who were involved in Imperialism, this is introduced with such phrases as bearing the sword, and often the torch (page 32) this gives an idea that the men who have left the Thames bear the sword and torch of Imperialism and that the frame narrator is no doubt in favour of Imperialism. The first pages also show us that there will not only be a frame narrator as he talks first, but also there will be another narrator, of course who is Marlow you can see this when Marlow refers to Romans coming down the Thames and invading. Imagery is introduced when the frame narrator sees London as the scared fire of civilisation (page 32) and Marlow sees London as one of the dark places of the earth (page 33). These phrases give contrasting views, the frame narrators of light with reference to fire and Marlow's who refers to dark. The journey on the Thames is certainly not the only journey within the novel, there is also the Roman journey up the Thames (page 33 and 34) ...read more.


This also links in with Imperialism as that contains horrors, which is shown through the job down the Congo. Marlow's view of the cruel and often foolish consequences of the trade established by colonialism can be seen in his description of the activities in his journey down the African Coast, where he says that some of the soldiers drowned in the surf but nobody seemed to care, this shows his view as he says that the steamer must go on even though some soldiers may have died in the process of the journey, this there fore means the trade must goes on. Also when he says names that seemed to belong to some sordid farce acted in front of a sinister backcloth (page 41). This gives Marlow's view as he says the trading places are part of something sordid which means disgusting and a farce this shows that he believes that the trade is a farce and as the trade is linked with the colonialism, he also thinks that's a farce too. He also says that there was a touch of insanity in the proceeding (page 42) this gives you his view as if he says the proceedings on the French steamer were insane then he must believe the same about colonialism too, he would think colonialism is insane due to him believing that the natives aren't the only ones that need to be civilised people like Kurtz also need to be civilised as they are insane. Although Marlow talks about colonialism and Imperialism being cruel and foolish one can suggest that as much as anyone else Marlow also de-humanises the black population. ...read more.


There is also a dream-like quality of Marlow's experience on the river we see this when he says we glided past like phantoms (page 63) it's a simile and to say they glided past like phantoms its gives the idea that they were floating along the river. Marlow also says he has a remote kinship (page 64) with the 'natives', this shows that as his journey has went on and on he feels closer to the natives. He also says it was ugly, this shows that he feels that although he feels almost related to the natives he sees it as an ugly thing due to the fact that they had wild passions and they were wild in their behaviour, this is shown when the natives attack (page 72) the boat which Marlow is travelling down the Congo on. Usually in everyday life you associate light and white with good and black and darkness with evil, but within the novel the distinction isn't clear. This is shown in the opening of the novel where there is light on the river, luminous estuary (page 31) but there is darkness over London, the air was dark above Gravesend (page 31), this phrase shows that there is light on the river as that is the place for the beginning of Imperialism but over London were it is dark it shows that there is darkness at the centre of Imperialism. This novel explores the issues surrounding Imperialism in complicated but strong ways. As throughout his journey he encounters cruelty, torture and close-on slavery. It shows that Europeans break down within Africa. It shows that Imperialism like wilderness may seem brilliant on the outside but when you look into it like Marlow did its not brilliant its savage and cruel. 1 James Bradley 10S Prose Coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Joseph Conrad essays

  1. The Heart of Darkness Marlow's story of the Roman Conquest of Britain as an ...

    Africans as savages and used them as slaves, and didn't care what happened to them The Russian says, "heads drying on the stakes under Mr. Kurtz's windows. After all, that was only a savage sight, while I seemed at one bound to have been transported into some lightness region of subtle horrors."

  2. Heart of Darkness. Discuss the variety of ways in which the title of ...

    We cannot control when it will come out and show itself. Conrad's views come through as Marlow describes colonialism as the 'shackled form of a conquered monster'. He says that there is a temptation to see the African 'savages' as 'inhuman', but actually they are very close to us.

  1. With Reference to the designated extract from Heart of Darkness write a detailed analysis. ...

    There is much evidence of Conrad's exploration of the Eastern world in 'Heart of Darkness'. It is however, his examination of the inner life that is most evident. The image of the 'black fellows' rowing the boats is described by Conrad as 'a momentary contact with reality' (p.30)

  2. Analizing Marlow

    Marlow also has unfavorable traits such as his sexist view of women. The representation of gender in the text Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a very patriarchal one, seen through the eyes of Marlow. Marlow feels that women should just do there own little house chores and nothing

  1. What is your impression of the description of settings and characters in the heart ...

    He doesn't even point out a couple of individuals as different to the rest, the black people are down trodden and seem to have had the spirit beaten out of them. They have given up on all hopes of being a proud race and now they are acting like a carpet of "quivering...bodies" for the white people to walk on.

  2. Explore the themes of justace and things not being as they seem in The ...

    this makes everyone think he was the escaped prisoner but when he gets inside our opinions of him start to change. When he asked to enter the house his rich deep voice said "friends, I ask leave to come in and rest a while" and Shepherd Fennel agreed and let the man in.

  1. Compare Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now, both being examples of journeys ...

    Rather, Marlow attempts to ameliorate Kurtz, he "tried to break the spell... of the wilderness- that seemed to draw him [Kurtz] to its pitiless breast...by the memory of gratified and monstrous passions." (pg66) The personification of the wilderness (it 'drawing him to its pitiless breast')

  2. Explore how the authors present the 'darkness' of the human heart and the savagery ...

    The language is matter of fact and straight forward, yet it is very effective in creating this tone of hopelessness and uncertainty. One of the crucial differences in language between the two books is that Golding does not overstate the more morbid perspective as opposed to the fairly horrific pictures, which are created in Heart Of Darkness.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work