Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) is regarded as one of the greatest novelist in the English language, though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties. A Polish-born English novelist, Conrad was a master prose stylist who is viewed as a precursor of modernist literature. He wrote stories and novels predominantly with a nautical or seaboard setting that portray trials of the human spirit by the demands of duty and honor. "Youth" was written in 1898 and was included as the first story in the 1902 volume "Youth, a Narrative, and Two Other Stories". It is an autobiographical short story, essentially a quest tale, which tests the youthful Marlow's nerve, strength and patience on his journey to becoming a man. Also included in this volume, "Heart of Darkness" exposes the dark side of European colonization while exploring the levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters. Last in this volume, "The End of the Tether" tells a story of a legally blind captain who must continue to pilot his ship in order to provide for his family.
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