The accountant is “toying architecturally with the bones”. This mention of bones is not something we’d normally associate with dominoes and gives us a sense of foreboding and thoughts of death which is a subtle way of laying down a recurring theme found within this novella. We are then introduced to the main character, who at this point we know not, in the form of Marlow. “He had sunken cheeks, a yellow complexion… ” the colour of yellow could be linked to disease and the sunken cheeks seem to suggest a deathly face.
These descriptions again emphasize the foreboding feelings Conrad planned for us to feel and suggest that what is to come is a story much of death and Africa, as a continent being known as a place of disease and pestilence. They are exchanging words “lazily” expressing again the mood of the time and how waiting for the tide to change has slowed everything down. As the sun goes down, Conrad describes it to be “stricken to death, by the touch of the gloom”. This again is hinting at death to come further into the book. The waters around the men also experience a change and become “less brilliant” than before.
I can only imagine this to mean that the water no longer reflects the rays of the sun and therefore is less interesting, and instead becomes a plain blank, black lagoon of unknown depth. This could relate to Africa being the black unknown which Marlow is yet to journey into. Conrad tells us how the waters have memories of great explorers such as “Drake” and “Franklin”. These explorers could be a way of Conrad hinting to us that they remain memories and that the journey we are about to take, or the crew on this boat is about to take, is fated and they will become merely memories. He describes the explorers as “the germs of empires”.
This interesting opinion shows us that Conrad resents the white men colonising Africa as they spread like germs, like a plague upon the earth, devouring cultures to change them to their own. If people didn’t change willingly then the white men saw an opportunity to make money by using them as cheap labour and so black slaves were born. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Anthony Eastman 12, O Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Joseph Conrad section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one? Search fo