ENGC80 - February 02.odt

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17 Apr 2012
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February 2, 2012
Modern Narrative – ENGC80
Heart of Darkness Part II
How are the narratees described?
Lawyer
Marlow
Defined as not belonging to or representing his class whereas the others do
What about describing him as a Buddha-like figure
To portray him as transcending the others in terms of wisdom
We're presented with a wise person, but as he continues with his story he's
constantly questioning himself, very insecure in a lot of ways – so irony between
what's presented by framed narrator as well as what actually is
The act of him sitting apart from the rest of people – physically separated from the
others
When Marlow in the end returns to Europe, calls them intruders – disgusted with
many people in European society upon his return
So physical separation is also a symbolic separation
Framed Narrator
Description of the Thanes River at the very beginning
Differences between what Framed Narrator says and how Marlow describes it
Marlow
Strength is only an accident resulting from the weakness of others" – talks
about how power is contingent upon force of others
Marlow sees these men as blind, having no idea what they're doing, etc.
Framed narrator
Glorifies civilization and the men who travel
Inserts men into a narrative of adventure & conquest
Sees the men as having goals, etc
If the framed narrator is presenting a romantic narrative, Marlow re-interprets
that narrative for us (w/ skepticism)
Despite the other listeners, he actually stays awake and listens – this sort of redeems
himself
Observer – a form of active listening (Conrad probably wants us to be engaged
listeners like the framed narrator)
Accountant
Lawyer and Accountant act as a mirror of the European colonizers at the time
He's criticizing and challenging even those who are not directly involved in colonial
trade
Link between the accountant at the beginning and the Chief Accountant at the
station
"In the great demoralization of the land he kept up his appearance"
Focus on the pretiness of clothing – and just before you had a detailed description
of the Congo inhabitants
Accountant really sticks out here – there's a huge disparity between what Marlow
is saying and what he really means – there's some irony
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