Heart of Darkness:
In order to catch the attention of an audience a writer or a narrator is bound to make use of narrative techniques which will make the audience always anxious to know the series of events in a story. Some of the narrative techniques that an author can use to get the attention of his readers are fictional elements. Fiction can be described as a story or setting that is derived from imagination; that is not based on facts or history (Farner, 2014). Joseph Conrad in his novel in “Heart of Darkness” uses several elections of fiction key among them been the setting of the story, the plot, characters, themes, and his point of view as the author of the story.
Heart of Darkness is a wild story of a journalist who becomes a manger in a station located in Congo who makes himself to be worshiped by other tribes of savages as their go. The story is set in Congo which is a country in the continent of Africa inhabited by black people whose native language is Bantu. One scene that is most important to the characters is the story is River Congo which is one of the biggest rivers not only in Congo but also in Africa (Anderson, 2000). Marlow; a character in the story narrates a story about his travels to the river as one the things he enjoyed most during his stay in Congo, he says:
“Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, and sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances. On silvery sand-banks hippos and alligators sunned themselves side by side”. Here Marlow compares sailing up the river to going back in the days of creation, here he is trying to make Africa look like an old version of Europe where he came from. Marlow was telling the story on a different river, the English Thames which he uses as a parallel to River Congo. This means that if Thames is like Congo, then Europe is like Africa and also that the black men are like the white men the only difference between them is time. White men were like the black men back in the days only that they have changed with time. Marlow in the beginning of the story portrays England as once a land of ‘primitive darkness’; He says “And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth” (1.8). This shows that England was once in darkness as the current Congo is until they were invaded by men from Rome who were considered to be noble and civilized and eroded they darkness. There is major problem in thinking this way because Africa do exist in the same time has Europe does. It is not a prehistoric site that reminds Europe about its past so what is true to Europe is true to Africa what only maters is how they conduct themselves.
Narrator’s point of view is another fictional element Conrad uses to write his novel. The unnamed narrator in the beginning of the novel the frame of the story, then he comes to Marlow’s story who kick starts the whole story in the novel. Marlow’s story is posed at some point in the story then the narrator who is yet to be introduced tells about the Thames River, its surrounding and who it compares to river Congo. Conrad uses the technique of nameless narrator to bring about more connections and commentary in the story. The frame is very important in the writer’s literature agenda but when Marlow starts rattling, he starts to tell the story in his own point of view. Joseph also leaves the readers with a lot of hanging questions which increase their curiosity to read the story in order to understand his meaning. The reader of the novel will be very curios to understand how accurate is the narrator in portraying Kurtz as a madman? Since Marlow has a point to make in his narration and isn’t above lying to make a point, can we trust that he is just trying to be straight? Or how does it matter if he weren’t? These are some of the questions which come to the reader as he reads the novel and which cultivate more desire to read more the whole story.