Theme Of Truth In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness works as a frame story for the main character: Marlow. Unbound from the world and tightly knotted into his own thoughts, Marlow struggles to grip onto anything that is reality. He and his team nearly approach the Inner Station as he aimlessly scans his surroundings. Irked by the lack of civilization, Marlow finds it hard to understand why he sees “neatly stacked wood-pile” (37). He is often vague and confused in his storytelling. Therefore, it is of no surprise that Marlow is intimately enticed by a book with notations in its margins. This, according to Marlow, denotes the existence of an intellect, a “white man,” who has clear and constructed thoughts. This is a sign of reality—a resounding moment in which …show more content…
Marlow’s inability to be concise takes truth away from what he says. The novel is broken down into three parts. Within each part, the dialogue is substantially by Marlow. Conrad writes Marlow’s dialogue in large paragraphs with pauses shown by dashes. First and foremost, the long paragraphs are filled to the brim with detail. However, it is often unclear detail: for example, “an inclined and melancholy pole” (37). What does Marlow mean by inclined or melancholy? “Inclined” meaning to “have a tendency” or “favorably disposed toward.” Then, “melancholy” just simply meaning “sad.” Marlow is, ultimately, saying that this pole has a tendency to be sad. He describes things for decoration. This asserts his artificial perspective. Secondly, the use of dashes connotes pauses. In this excerpt alone, there are up to eight dashes. His constant pauses provide evidence that he is uncertain of the events.
Moreover, Marlow cannot decide whether the author’s name is Towson or Towser. However, he can effortlessly describe the book as earnest. Marlow is not in a position to describe anything as “honest” because he himself is not totally honest. How can a man judge what is true if he is not true to what he says? For example, earlier in the novel, Marlow reduces the importance of his journey when he sarcastically responds to his aunt. He is not honest to the readers (although notably sarcastic) from the beginning; therefore, it does not find him well to describe anything as

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