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In Heart of Darkness by James Conrad, Marlow is sent into the Congo (or the heart of Africa) to to bring back Kurtz who is working with the transport of ivory. Throughout his recounting of the tale, Marlow describes the Natives of Congo in many different demeaning, low, and negative ways. His tone throughout is that of someone pitying another from afar. Entering the Congo, Marlow seems to be turned away by the treatment of the natives endured by the white men but does not speak out angrily about it. Throughout his time, Marlow sees chain gangs, dead bodies, and an entire population of people described as devils and shadows. Marlow seems to want the audience to understand that this body of enslaved people is being punished by white men for crimes they do not understand and have not committed. The tone regarding the natives is somber, and when read, one can imagine lowering their voice an octave or two. The tone Marlow presents, shows that he is not in agreement with their treatment but doesn’t feel feel like it is his duty to change the situation. He views various events involving the natives with a mindset that seems removed yet concerned. Entering these lands, Marlow is technically the man responsible for the enslavement. The natives would not view him as someone who wants to help unless he actively speaks out. This provides Marlow with sad, dirty, and distasteful looks from the natives. Those who are not in chains seem to be very subdued and compliant possibly out of fear or small numbers. From knowledge of African Oppression, those who were wealthier in their own countries may have owned slaves or had servants. In this case, they were of the same color. With the invasion of white missionaries, this hierarchy was disrupted and men and women of all ranks are being enslaved by an outside force. Marlow definitely portrays the feelings of oppression, disquietude, and fear through his quiet yet heavy descriptions.

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