Conrad uses the frame of the story on the Thames to frame Marlow's story. Why? What's the point? I can't see any parallels between them.
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There is a mythic element steeped in folklore to be had in a frame story. It is as if the narrator is telling this story personally to the reader. The reader is given a beginning point, often of relative safety, and the tossed into a very mythic and chaotic adventure. At the end of the story, the reader is returned to the same relative place of safety.