What are the techniques used by the Conrad to introduce Marlow in the part when he talks about his passion for maps?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One technique Joseph Conrad uses to introduece marlowe is a technique that has fallen out of favor in musch of today's theory of how to write fiction. Conrad give a long narrative introductory passage taht describes many other characters and the setting. In this narrative passage, Conrad's narrator gives just a brief passing glance at Marlowe himself, describing worrisomely as sunken, yellow, ascetic, and dropping. Conrad also uses striking symbolism between the Sun, the Thames River and estuary and the story about to be unfolded, Marlowe's story as it turns out. Then Marlowe's first words folow a second symbolic connection between "the monstrous town" of London and the light of the setting sun.


A final technique Conrad uses in introducing Marlowe is the element of surprise, which surprises us as being wholly incongruant even though it doens't surprise his companions. Marlowe's comment is spoken as if it were attached to long on-going conversation, undoubtedly the conversation being carried on in his yellow, sunken and ascetic head with himself as the only participant. Conrad concludes his introduction of Marlowe by comparing him to typicla seaman and making it clear that Marlowe has a philosopher's bent and is not typicla.

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Heart of Darkness

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