* Marlow is the narrator of the novel. * He is currently travelling up the river in order to meet Kurtz, an infamous ivory dealer. * “Going up that river was like travelling to the earliest beginnings of the world” This quote displays Marlow as a representation of European settlers and their opinion that the land in which they were settling in is very primitive. * Marlow has a very strong work ethic and professional skills, which are contrasted with the laziness and incompetence of the Company employees. * Marlow is disturbed that he can somewhat understand/communicate/interpret the natives. Stating: “No, they were not inhuman”
* The notion that maybe there is an inkling of them in himself and his own people, frightens Marlow. * Marlow’s ability to remain sane in an increasingly insane situation demonstrates his refusal to give in.
* Kurtz has a fiancée waiting for him in Europe. (He calls her his ‘Intended’) * Marlow speaks of Kurtz in a tone of fascination, as if he has no control over his actions when around him. “But evidently, they couldn’t bury this parcel deep enough to save the gifted Mr Kurtz from his fate”. * Another act of fascination is that Marlow calls him Mr Kurtz. * “He nodded a nod full of mystery and wisdom”
* Although he tells the story through a lens of admiration, he does inform his ‘listeners’ that Kurtz has a flaw of character that caused him to go insane in isolation.