The Anonymous Narrator
He recounts the story of Marlow’s adventure in Africa.
We know nothing about him and the reader has to judge how well the narrator recalls Marlow’s story.
Conrad’s novel is mainly concerned with Marlow’s story of his journey to
Africa up the River Congo to the Heart of Darkest in 1900.
He has obtained a position as steamboat Captain whose first task is to
persuade Kurtz to return from his outpost to his Company’s main office. The excesses of the white colonists shock Marlow and he is forced to radically change his views on imperialism.
He is the best ivory trader that the Company has and he works out of the
Inner Station. He is extremely well educated and is described as a universal genius, but he has degenerated to a tyrant due to the temptations that this Dark Continent provides.
The natives regard him as a god and Marlow has great difficulty in
persuading him to return on his boat. The harsh environment has taken its toll on Kurtz and he does not survive the voyage.
He is based at the Company’s Central Station and he oversees the Company’s
activities in the Congo.
He seems to be almost unique out of the white people in this land in that he does not succumb to the local diseases and harsh climate. The Manager tries to undermine Kurtz’s position as he fears that Kurtz is after his job.
The Chief Accountant
He is also based at the Central Station and always somehow is able to keep
himself spotlessly clean, but has no feelings for the local inhabitants who suffer under the yoke of imperialism.
The Brick maker
He is the Manager’s favorite and is considered by the other Agents to be the
Manager’s spy. He never actually produces any bricks and is supposedly waiting on the materials being delivered. He is a very shallow person.
They are based at the Central Station and are incompetent, greedy
Agents. They are keen to be assigned to one of the outposts so that they can trade for ivory and exploit the environment. They are uncaring and treat the natives harshly.
They are hired as crewmembers of the steamer and are surprisingly
levelheaded and responsible. Marlow respects them for their restraint and the respect they show the white people despite the harshness of their surroundings.
The Russian Trader
He is totally loyal to Kurtz and is a colorful character and a true adventurer of Africa. He wears
a multi-colored patched coat, which gives him the appearance of a harlequin. He can be described as Kurtz’s court jester.