Analysis of unseen texts by Joseph Conrad

(Link to unseen texts)

Reading both unseen texts has made me aware of the reoccurring themes in Conrad’s work: 

  • Ambiguous/unclear: In Text A, he comments on the morally ambiguous character Marlow, saying, “all these preliminary moods and stirring of spirit were rather obscure at the time, and they do not appear clearer to me now after the lapse of so many years”. For instance, Marlow admits that imperialism is ruthless and takes things “away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses.” However, he also says that colonialism is redeemed by the beautifully noble idea of “civilizing the savages”. Therefore, since he recognizes both views on imperialism, it is unclear where he stands. Another element of ambiguity in Conrad’s work is the reoccurring juxtaposition between light and darkness, where light may represent knowledge, life, and brightness, while darkness may represent death and ignorance. Instead of compromising to convey a neutral tone that is between light and darkness, Conrad contrasts these polar opposite ideas to create a highly unclear and ambiguous piece of work. 
  • Storytelling: Since the narrator recounts the story, Conrad foreshadows what is about to come and how it will end at the beginning of the novel. Thus, it creates a somber and hopeless tone throughout the entire story.
  • Marlow is an unreliable/biased narrator: 

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