Literally speaking, the action of Heart of Darkness is simply the act of storytelling aboard a ship on the river Thames around the turn of the twentieth century. An unnamed narrator, along with four other men, is aboard the anchored Nellie waiting for the tide to turn. They trade sea stories to pass the time. One of these men is Charlie Marlow, whose story will itself be the primary narrative of Heart of Darkness. Before Marlow begins his tale, however, the unnamed narrator muses to himself on a history of exploration and conquest...
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