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Clearly the self-dramatising narrator is a step towards Conrad's development of the engaged narrator pondering over and struggling with the meaning of another's or his own experiences. The white man, who is trying to discover the source and meaning of Karain's vulnerability and 'unrest', is an early version of the narrator whose efforts to penetrate into the psyche of a complex character climax with growth in the narrator's self-knowledge. The speaker, in addition to performing the rhetorical role of 'placing' Karain in perspective and shaping our reactions to him, is a vital character.

Or one of his comments may be more an outburst of intellectual energy than a reasoned through discussion of the novel's action. For example, the narrator uses the occasion of verbal fencing between Babalatchi and Willems to make the following meditative comment that barely pertains to the action, but reflects Conrad's own ennui and pessimism. Babalatchi's fatalism gave him only an insignificant relief in his suspense because no fatalism can kill the thought of the future, the desire of success, the pain of waiting for the disclosure of the immutable decrees of Heaven.

17-31. See Royal Roussel, The Metaphysics of Darkness (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971), pp. 28- so. 6. Hicks, p. 24. 7. Roussel, pp. 40- 1. 8. See Lloyd Fernando, 'Conrad's Eastern Expatriates: A New Version of His Outcasts', PMLA, vol. xci (1976), p. 89. 9. , pp. 78-90. 10. Roussel, pp. 49- so. 2 Unrest I A brieflook at Conrad's state of mind soon after he started his writing career helps explain why Conrad began in his earliest stories to shift the focus from the tale to the teller.

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