Heart of Darkness: A Character’s Walk to a Station

1628 WordsMay 26, 20137 Pages
This passage, told from the viewpoint of a character, describes said character’s walk to a station. On the way, he encounters a group of dying black people, overworked and starved, as well as a spotless white man. The passage is mainly concerned with giving thorough descriptions of each, and thus establishing a direct contrast between the two appearances. This passage is told from a first-person point of view, and the narrator is clearly a figure involved in the story. In fact, at least in this passage, the speaker is the central character, recounting his story to the reader. The passage is written in past tense, which further adds to the impression that the story is being directly recounted to the reader by one of the characters, who has…show more content…
The narrator speaks of him as a “vision” and “miracle”, and he seems rather unreal to the reader as well. This man also seems to bring up the theme of how important it is to “[keep] up [one’s] appearance.” – to the reader today, this mention almost brings up a feeling of bitter humor, as it seems like a ridiculous concept to walk around in a “high starched collar” when a few steps away dozens of people are dying. This may convey some of the colonial attitudes of the time. As the passage is told from the point of view of a person in the story, the reader also gets conveyed much of the narrator’s opinions. One thing that is very noticeable is that while the narrator is “horror-struck” at the sight of the dying people, he never once adopts a tone of pity or evokes a feeling of sympathy – he simply moves on – as if the spectacle, while terrifying, were something natural, and normal. This demonstrates the attitude of the times to the reader – the narrator instead respects the white man with the flawless appearance: “I respected his collars, his vast cuffs, his brushed hair.” The author not only appeals to the reader’s sense of color, but also to that of hearing. Upon entering the forest, the speaker hears “an uninterrupted, uniform, headlong, rushing noise” – again, the author has used a series of adjectives to provide a

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