Description in Whose Body? vs Heart of Darkness

The body which lay in the bath was that of a tall, stout man of about fifty. The hair, which was thick and black and naturally curly, had been cut and parted by a master hand, and exuded a faint violet perfume, perfectly recognisable in the close air of the bathroom. The features were thick, fleshy and strongly marked, with prominent dark eyes, and a long nose curving down to a heavy chin. The clean-shaven lips were full and sensual, and the dropped jaw showed teeth stained with tobacco. On the dead face the handsome pair of pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance; the fine gold chain curved over the naked breast. The legs lay stiffly stretched out side by side; the arms reposed close to the body; the fingers were flexed naturally.” (Sayers 8)

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009.

Throughout the novel, Sayers is very specific in her descriptions: within the first few pages of the novel, she explicitly describes a detailed account of the body to the reader. Conrad, in Heart of Darkness, does quite the opposite. Most of the information that the reader finds out comes from dialogue with another person. The most obvious example being that the entire experience is told through Marlow. Even among Marlow’s description, a lot of the information that is found out is through dialogue.  For example, the reader learns of Kurtz very early on in the story, but only through conversation Marlow has with other people.