Heart of Darkness


Joseph Conrad

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Heart of Darkness Characters


One of the five men on the ship in the Thames. Heart of Darkness is mostly made up of his story about his journey into the Belgian Congo. Marlow is a seaman through and through… read analysis of Marlow


The fiancé of his Intended, and a man of great intellect, talent, and ambition who is warped by his time in the Congo. Kurtz is the embodiment of all that's noble about European civilization… read analysis of Kurtz

General Manager

The head of the Company's Central Station on the river. Untalented and unexceptional, the General Manager has reached his position of power in the Company because of his ability to cause vague uneasiness in others… read analysis of General Manager

The Russian Trader

A wanderer and trader who wears a multi-colored patched jacket that makes him look like a harlequin (a jester). Through some miraculous stroke of luck, he has ended up alone in the jungle along the… read analysis of The Russian Trader


One of the five men on the ship in the Thames, he is the one who relays to the reader Marlow's story about Kurtz and the Congo. He is insightful, and seems to understand Marlow… read analysis of Narrator
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The Brickmaker

The General Manager's most trusted agent. A sly, lazy, power-hungry fellow who despite his title seems to have never made a brick, the Brickmaker cares only about his own advancement and therefore sees Kurtz as… read analysis of The Brickmaker
Minor Characters
The General Manager's Uncle
The uncle of the General Manager, and the head of the Eldorado Exploring Expedition. Like his nephew, the uncle has come to Africa to make his fortune. He is generally untalented, and his expedition disappears in the jungle.
Kurtz's Intended
The woman in Europe to whom Kurtz is betrothed to be married. She is incredibly idealistic about both Kurtz and the colonization of Africa. She continues to mourn Kurtz as a great man even a year after he dies.
Marlow's Aunt
A well-connected and idealistic woman, she helps Marlow get the job as a steamer pilot for the Company. She is extremely idealistic about the European colonization of Africa, seeing it as a beautiful effort to civilize the savages.
Director of Companies
One of the five men on the ship in the Thames who listen to Marlow's story.
One of the five men on the ship in the Thames who listen to Marlow's story.
One of the five men on the ship in the Thames who listen to Marlow's story. He is not the same as the Chief Accountant.
A steamship pilot who got into a silly argument that cost him his life. His death opened the position into which Marlow was hired.
A medical man in the sepulchral city who is interested in how the Congo drives men crazy.
A steamship captain who has nothing but disdain for the "government chaps" who care only about money.
Chief Accountant
A Company employee at the Outer Station who wins Marlow's admiration simply by keeping himself impeccably groomed. (Do not confuse him with the Accountant on the ship in the Thames.)
The Foreman
A man who helps Marlow repair the steamship.
The Pilgrims
Company agents that Marlow gives the derisive nickname Pilgrims because they carry long wooden staves wherever they go.
The Helmsman
A coastal native of Africa trained to man the helm of a steamship. He works for Marlow until he's killed.
African Woman
A savage and stately African tribeswoman who seems likely to have been Kurtz's lover.
The General Manager's servant
A native boy who has grown insolent because he works for the General Manager.