Who is Marlow? Is he an illustration of the author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad?
In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Captain Charles Marlow is a British sailor who narrates the majority of the novella, relating his trip into the Congo to his fellow sailors. This fictional character has an interesting relationship with his author, Joseph Conrad. They do share many similar traits, which has led scholars to propose that Marlow is semi-autobiographical in nature. Certainly, Marlow was an almost stock character for Conrad, appearing not only in Heart of Darkness but three other works as well. Conrad, like Marlow, did have many years of nautical experience as a maritime merchant, which allowed him to travel broadly, not only within Europe but to Borneo and the Congo. Indeed, Conrad was a captain of a steamer on a three-year trip in the Congo for Belgian merchants, an trip from which Marlow's eerily similar experience in the Congo is said to be inspired. However, there are some key differences between them,...
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