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Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad

Character Analysis Fresleven

Although he is only mentioned in one section of the novel, Fresleven reflects the power of the jungle on seemingly civilized men. Before he left for Africa, Fresleven was described as a kind and gentle man; after being exposed to the Congo, however, he became savage and was killed in a meaningless quarrel with a native chief. The grass that Marlow saw growing through his bones suggests the power of the jungle over civilized men. Like the Harlequin, Fresleven is presented as one possible outcome for Marlow on his journey up the Congo River.