Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Marlow is the main character that gains enlightenment and knowledge in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Discuss.

Expert Answers info

booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4,119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

There is no question that Marlow gains enlightenment and knowledge in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

The reader can assume that Marlow is experienced in the ways of the world: his career as a ship's captain would indicate that he is able to handle himself on a ship, especially in that sailing could be treacherous and deadly in the blink of an eye.

However, as the story progresses, Marlow's rational mind can hardly comprehend what he sees. Arriving at the Lower Station, a road is being constructed on a cliff, but the blasting of dynamite there serves no logical purpose: the men working seem crazy to Marlow.

A heavy and dull detonation shook the ground, a puff of smoke came out of the cliff, and that was all. No change appeared on the face of the rock...the cliff was not in the way or anything...

Next he sees machinery (we could infer that it is functional) just lying around on the ground rusting and deteriorating.

...an undersized railway truck lying there on its back with its wheels in the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 805 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial