The appearance of a fog following the attack gives an impression of venturing in the unknown and in this case something much unexpected comes along. At the midpoint of the second act, the author Conrad introduces the character of the Russian. The harlequin has not been mentioned or eluded to the narration thus far. In fact this character seems so incredibly out of place in the context of the situation that even the main character of Marlow later on wonders whether or not he was simply a figment of his imagination.
In fact, while it seems that the author wishes to skirt the character between the realms of reality and delusion. The notion that the character seems to be a creation of Marlow’s subconscious is quite apt. The author it seems has created this character to serve three functions at this point of the story. One function is as a conduit to disseminate information about Kurtz and the other is to provide a sense of comic relief without actually ascending the tone of the story into light hearted levels. Even though it seems counterproductive at this point for the author to introduce such a character with as much levity as the harlequin does. However, the light tone is so needed at this point of the tale and the Russian seems to have such an outright shocking countenance that he seems to be readily acceptable to the reader.
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