Writing Techniques in The Secret Agent

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Unlike some of Conrad's other novels and stories, such as Lord Jim (1900; see separate entry), there is no dominating first-person narrator in The Secret Agent comparable to Charles Marlow. Moreover, the reader is not given a series of different narrative perspectives as in Lord Jim, or, as in Nostromo (1904; see separate entry). Conrad employs an apparently straightforward narrative technique in the tradition of conventional realism, a narrative method that appears deceptively simple.

Yet Conrad's narrative voice is controlled by a rigorous and masterful sense of irony. Conrad's selective use of incident tends to undercut the melodramatic and sensationalist nature of some of the story's events—a major bombing, a murder, a suicide. One result of Conrad's narrative method and tone is to deny glamour and dignity to nearly all his characters.

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This section contains 132 words
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