With his diction presenting a slightly concerned tone, his syntax being varied and interrupted, and his details depicting darker, yet prevailing times in world history, Conrad’s selection illustrate his view on the march of civilization. Through his words he shows that the march is reoccurring; it just changes location. Now it was time for the march to come to the area of the Thames River, and Conrad is comparing the situation to events in the past. Throughout the passage, Conrad uses several precedent “battles” to demonstrate how each group has had their march to civilization. He begins with “when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago” and proceeds to tell of moments, including battles in the Mediterranean, making them seem as if they just happened “yesterday”. Conrad’s carefully selected details serve as a comparison to current marches and prove that the fights are not over, for they have just occurred. The author’s syntax in the passage adds to the overall effect of the piece as well. His sentence structure varies throughout the selection with certain sentences possessing a great deal of detail and others being short and interrupted by new thoughts or comparisons.
Conrad states, “The fascination of the abomination—you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate” (lines 47-50). This style of sentence is long and ongoing, just as the march is. The author’s syntax mirrors what his message is and helps define the tone of the passage. Conrad’s diction for the piece makes the reader aware of the meaning. He groups words together that show that the march is not a topic to be taken lightly, yet words that show he is apprehensive to the fact that no one else realizes what is truly happening. He speaks of a time when the “sky [was] the colour of smoke” (line 17), and how “darkness was here yesterday” (line 7-8).
Though his words make the tone of the passage gloomy, they make the audience aware that something is coming (possibly foreshadowing of a battle of some sort). In the end, Conrad tells how the march of civilization is just an idea for others to tackle, making it appear as though certain civilization are moving forward, the march will never truly end. Through his assortment of details, words and sentences, Conrad explains his overall view of the march of civilization. He uses details from historical marches as evidence and as comparisons, and a variety of words for his diction and syntax, which set the tone and reassure his view on the situation. Overall, the author shows that he knows the march will forever continue.