Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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In Heart of Darkness, who is the narrator at the beginning of the story?

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Blaze Bergstrom eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Joseph Conrad uses a framing device to set up the story that Marlow will tell. The narrator is a fellow traveler or boatman aboard the Nellie; the author never gives this person's name.

Using this type of frame has several effects. It establishes the basic orality of the narrative. There is no indication that Marlow has written out his story for others to read; rather, he is telling a tale to which the others are listening.

Positioning Marlow as a yarn-spinner also adds an element of uncertainty: is he relating his story truthfully, or is he exaggerating or downright lying to create an effect for his audience? Did the...

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belarafon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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kmieciakp | Student

an unnamed person on docked boat, The Nellie

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