Characterization

Marlow: One of the five men on the ship in Thames who is one of the narrators in Heart of Darkness who tells you about his journey along the Congo. He is a seaman and has seen the world many times. Marlow is passionate, insightful and very philosophical, and idolizes Kurtz and seeks to find him. Marlow is very doubtful about civilization.

Kurtz: Kurtz is a man of very smart and has great ambition and talent, but goes mad somewhere through all of the power he has due to the natives who see him as a godlike figure. Kurtz seeks his power through ivory. Kurtz seeks to get away from the real world and go into the wilderness to get away from the government, but in the process of getting away he brings some forms of government with him.

General Manager — The head of the Company’s Central Station. Has no real talents, and unsure how he got his job, it was almost like it was just given to him. The General Manager has no real moral ambitions, and is selfish in the way that he only cares about himself, power, and making money. This character is made out to be the “flabby devil.”

The Russian Trader — The Russian Trader is a trader who wears a motley colored clothes who has ended up alone in the jungle along the Congo and survived. He is naïve and innocent and believes Kurtz is a godlike figure, so he idolizes him. He even nursed Kurtz back to health several times even after Kurtz threatened to shoot him over ivory. The Russian Trader is the only person that has not tried to take over the jungle.

Narrator — Another one of the passengers on ship in the Thames along with Marlow, he is the unnamed in the story and one who begins Marlow’s story about Kurtz and the Congo. He seems to know Marlow very good, and be very observant.

Director of Companies — One of the five men on the ship in the Thames who listen to Marlow’s story. He is described resembling a pilot.

Lawyer — One of the five men on the ship in the Thames who listen to Marlow’s story. He had the only cushion on the deck of the ship.

Accountant — One of the five men on the ship in the Thames who listen to Marlow’s story. He is attributed dominoes.

The Brick maker — The brick maker is the only person the general manager really trusts. He is very lazy and has made it working at his job without ever even making a brick before. He is very inconsiderate and selfish and only cares about his own personal benefits. The brick maker seeks Kurtz as a threat because he thinks that Marlow and Kurtz are somehow connected to the company.

Kurtz’s Intended —Kurtz’s fiancé, or the “intended”. She is fully in on Kurtz and the colonization of Africa. Even after his death, she still believes what a great man he was.

 Marlow’s Aunt — Marlow’s aunt who helps him get the job as a steamer pilot for the company. She believes there should be some form of colonization for the savages in Africa.

The General Manager’s Uncle — The uncle of the General Manager, and the head of the Eldorado Exploring Expedition. Along with his nephew, the uncle has come to Africa to make his fortune. He is generally untalented, and his expedition disappears in the jungle.

Fresleven — His death over an argument gave Marlow his job as a steam pilot for the company.

Doctor — A medical man in the Sepulchral City who is interested in how the Congo drives men crazy, and believes the size of a man’s head can tell if they are crazy or not.

Swede — Swede is the one who told Marlow the story of another Swede who traveled to the interior.

Chief Accountant — The chief accountant is an employee for the Outer Station who Marlow likes.

The Foreman — The foreman is a man who helped Marlow fix his ship.

The Pilgrims — Men Marlow brought with him on his journey to the interior. They buried Kurtz by the riverside when he died.

The Helmsman — A coastal native of Africa who was killed when attacked by Kurtz’s men.

African Woman — A savage that was most likely Kurtz’s secret lover.

The General Manager’s servant — Ther General Manager’s servant is a native boy. Gives the news of Kurtz’s death.

-Abby

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