Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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How does Marlow evolve as a character throughout Heart of Darkness?

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Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) presents the reader with a classic heroic quest in his novel Heart of Darkness. Narrator Charlie Marlow seeks to search for truth and knowledge in his soul based on his experiences in life. He looks to find the meaning of life on his journey to Africa. Conrad structures his novel in three parts broken down into two time frames: the present, where Marlow relates his story, and the past, where he works his way up the river toward the evil ivory trader Kurtz.

As the novel unfolds, Marlow is an honest and moral experienced seaman on a quest to find his self. He wants to discover the light in his soul. He desires to rid his soul of the darkness found deep inside human beings. As he relates his tale, the reader learns that his journey’s end “has been one of the dark places of the earth.”

Marlow sails for the African coast on a French steamer and on the voyage he is disturbed at the mistreatment of African natives:

“They were dying slowly—it was very clear. They were...

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