Heart Of Darkness Marlow Identity Essay

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In an imperialistic world, to survive is to protect oneself, a lesson in which Marlow learns during his travels. Without the protection of anyone, all he has is himself. All the characters in the novella play a role, yet their identity and their role is obscure to the readers. Throughout the book, Marlow sees and hears many strange customs and traditions which he has never seen before. Naive and confused, he doesn’t know his own identity or the world’s global hybridity, until his aunt introduces him to a job opportunity. However, he doesn’t even know where he is headed, only that he will be a captain on a steamboat. The uncertainty and absurdity of the whole situation is quite bizarre. One of the first characters introduced in the book other than Marlow himself, is his aunt. His aunt seems to be in a higher social class than him, since she was able to find him a job. She says, “It will be delightful. I am ready to do anything, anything for you. It is a glorious idea. I know the wife of a very high personage in the administration, and also a man who has lots of influence with….” (pg.6) This delineates that she has ability and connections, but…show more content…
He actually defends the natives and speaks of the way they should be approached, “must necessarily appear to them in the nature of supernatural beings—we approach them with the might as of a deity. By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded….” (pg. 45) This quote shows the difference between Marlow and Kurtz. This also brings out the ambiguity of the classes again. The natives seem to become like Marlow, a subaltern. This makes them equals, rather than Marlow being sanctimonious. This causes Marlow confusion and uncertainty with his identity and leads him slowly to the gradual realization that they have similar ideologies. All of these are results from

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