Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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What are some examples of a shift in narration between Marlow and the other narrator in Heart of Darkness?

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Interestingly, the primary narrator of Heart of Darkness doesn't sound much different in his style of delivery than the "secondary" though more significant narrator, Marlow. This probably works to Conrad's advantage as a storyteller, making the transitions from one to the other seamless and almost unnoticeable. It also contributes to the mysterious and perplexing quality of the novel, in which all of the narration is like the background of, or a commentary on, a strange, dreamlike fantasy. The first few pages are a kind of preface, spoken by the primary voice, and then at first, Marlow's contributions are subdued, almost like punctuation marks:

"And this also," said Marlow suddenly, "has been one of the dark places of the earth."

The first narrator then launches into his description of Marlow. It's clear he is very familiar with the man, given that he remarks it was "just like Marlow" to say such a thing. But the subsequent contributions by this first voice become briefer and more...

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