Heart of Darkness 2nd

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Represent by: Louis, Lumi, Leon, Jones


Plot Theme Symbols Foreshadowing Summary


History: Although the mouth of the Congo was explored by British Admiralty expeditions from 1816 and became a steamer port-of-call on the Atlantic route to South Africa, all the knowledge and colonization came from the east side. A Belgian trading post was established in 1879.




Africa Natives in 19th century


A. Exposition: Time: Latter part of 19th century, probably sometime between 1876 and 1892. Place: Open on the Thames River outside London. Events of the story take place in Brussels, at the Company’s offices, and in the Congo, then a Belgian territory. I. Plot


B. Rising action: Marlow starts his sailing. 1. The brutality Marlow witnesses in the Company’s employees. “They wandered here and there with their absurd long staves in their hands …a rotten fence” (1973) 2. The rumors he hears that Kurtz is a remarkable man. “He is a prodigy. He is an emissary of pity, and science, and progress, and devil knows what else” (1975) I. Plot


C. Turning point: From Marlow’s discovery to his arrival in the Inner Station. “when I saw in the distance clearing on the river-side and the outlines of some sort of building” (1996) I. Plot


D. Falling action: Kurtz’s death. 1.    Marlow’s acceptance of responsibility for Kurtz’s legacy. “One morning he gave me a packet of papers and a photograph- the lot tied together with a shoe-string. And ‘Keep this for me’ (2009) 2.   Marlow’s visit to Kurtz’s fiancée. “The last word he pronounced was-your name” (2016) I. Plot


E. Conclusion: The silence between Marlow and the narrator. I. Plot


l   The Hypocrisy of Imperialism l   Madness as a Result of Imperialism l   The Racism from Imperialism l   Human Beings’ Indifference l   The Contradiction of Human Being II. Theme


The Hypocrisy of Imperialism A. “They were no colonists; their administration was merely a squeeze, and nothing more, I suppose. They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force— nothing to boast of, when you have it. Since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was get to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind—as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness” (1961). II. Theme


The Hypocrisy of Imperialism B. “They beguiled the time by backbiting and intriguing against each other in a foolish kind of way. There was an air of plotting about that station, but nothing came of it, of course. It was as unreal as everything else—as the philanthropic pretence of the whole concern, as their talk, as their government, as their showoff work. They only real feeling was a desire to get appointed to a trading-post where ivory was to be had, so that they could earn percentages” (1974-5). II. Theme


The Hypocrisy of Imperialism C. “This devoted band called itself the Eldorado Exploring Expedition and I believe they were sworn to secrecy. Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneer: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage; there was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world” (1979). II. Theme


Madness as a Result of Imperialism A. “The mind of man is capable of anything—because everything is in it, all the past as well as all future. What was there after all? . . . Principles won’t do” (1984). B.  “Say! ‘We must have made a glorious slaughter of them in the bush” (1996). C. “I am not disclosing any trade secrets. In fact the manager said afterwards that Mr. Kurtz’s methods had ruined the district. . . . Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him” (2001). II. Theme


The Racism from Imperialism “. . . we white. . . ‘must necessarily appear to them[savages] in the nature of supernatural beings—we approach them with the might as of a deity,’ and so on, . . . ‘By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded’” (1995). II. Theme


Human Beings’ Indifference A. “. . . I heard the original quarrel arose from a misunderstanding about some hens. Yes, two black hens. . . . [He (Fresleven)] whacked the old nigger mercilessly, thunderstruck, till some man—I was told the chief’s son—in desperation at hearing the old chap yell, made a tentative jab with a spear at the white man— and of course it went quite easy between the shoulder-blades. Then the whole population cleared into the forest, expecting kinds of calamities to happen . . . II. Theme


Human Beings’ Indifference Afterwards nobody seemed to trouble much about Fresleven’s remains, . . . The supernatural being had not been touched after he fell. And the village was deserted, the huts gaped black, rotting, all askew within the fallen enclosures” (1963). B. “Some, I heard, got drowned in the surf; but whether they did or not, nobody seemed particularly to care” (1966). II. Theme


The Contradiction of Human Being A. Lies 1. "You know I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appals me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies—which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world—what I want to forget. It made me sick, like biting something rotten would do” (1977). 2. “‘The Last word he pronounced was—your name’ ” (2016). 3. “He (Kurtz) cried out twice, a cry that was no more than breath: ‘The horror! The horror!’” (2010). II. Theme


The Contradiction of Human Being B. A person’s value 1. “Workers, with capital—you know. Something like an emissary of light, something like a lower sort of apostle” (1965). ” 2. A butcher  A policeman (1993). 3. “He (helmsman) had been a very second-rate helmsmen while alive, but now he was dead he might have become a first-class temptation, and possibly cause some startling trouble” (1996). II. Theme


III. Symbols River: Snake / Temptation


1. And as I looked at the map… it fascinated me as a snake would a bird – a silly little bird. (1962) 2. …could not shake off the idea. The snake had charmed me. (1962) 3. I was going into the yellow. Dead in the centre. And the river was there – fascinating – deadly – like a snake. Ough! (1963) III. Symbols A. River: Snake / Temptation


Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world…you lost your way on that river… Imagine a blindfolded man set to drive a van over a bad road. (1982-1983) The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress; (2009) III. Symbols A. River: upriver and downriver


1. When the sun rose there was a white fog, very warm and clammy, and more blinding than the night. It did not shift or drive; it was just there, standing all round you like something solid. (1986) 2. How long would it last? It was the most hopeless look-out. (1989) III. Symbols B. Fog: Obscures and Distorts (where are you going?)


Marlow’s aunt – naive illusion She talked about ‘weaning those ignorant millions from their horrid ways,’ … I ventured to hint that the Company was run for profit. (1965) III. Symbols C. Women


Kurtz’s Intended – naive illusion I was on the point of crying at her, ‘Don’t you hear them?’…’The horror! The horror!’… But I couldn’t. I could not tell her. It would have been too dark – too dark altogether. (2016) III. Symbols C. Women


Kurtz’s African mistress – an enigma She… draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly,… carried her head high;… She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. (2003) III. Symbols C. Women


IV. Foreshadowing Incoming Nightmares. A. Fresleven’s death B. In the Company offices C. Visit to the Doctor


It appears the Comnapy had received news that one of their captains had been killed in a scuffle with the natives. …to be told that Fresleven was the gentlest, quietest creature that ever walked on two legs. No doubt he was; but the had been a couple of years already out there engaged in the noble cause… (1962) A. Fresleven’s death IV. Foreshadowing


A door opened, a white-haired secretarial head… a skinny forefinger… Its light was dim… an impression of pale plumpness… The great man himself. … He shook hands, I fancy, murmured vaguely, was satisfied with my French. Bon voyage. (1963) I began to feel slightly uneasy. You know I am not used to such ceremonies, and there was something ominous in the atmosphere. (1964) B. In the Company offices IV. Foreshadowing


Two women, one fat and the other slim, … knitting black wool. (1963) Often far away there I thought of these two, guarding the door of Darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall… Ave! Old knitter of black wool. Morituri te salutant. Not many of those she looked at ever saw her again – not half, by a long way. (1964) B. In the Company offices IV. Foreshadowing


…with a certain eagerness asked me whether I would let him measure my head. He gave me a searching glance, and made another note. ‘Ever any madness in your family?’ he asked, in a matter-of-fact tone. (1964) C. Visit to the Doctor IV. Foreshadowing


His mother was half-English, his father was half-French. All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz; (1995) Kurtz? … Curse? Other Thoughts


Why doesKurtz want to shoot the Russian? (2000) In the Chapter 3, what is the round knobs on the stakes? (2001) Where do they come from? Why dose Kurtz order the attack to the streamer? (2005) What does Kurtz give to Marlow? (2009) Why is Marlow loyal to Kurtz at the last (2011) What does Marlow know about Kurtz, by a fellow calling himself Kurtz’s cousin? (2012) How many people inquiry Kurtz after he died? Besides, who are they? (2012) What is Marlow’s & Kurtz’s purposes to going to the Heart of Darkness? Please compare their situation. Questions


Text: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/ConDark.html http://www.nomos-dk.dk/aftenland/Conrad-bio.htm Pictures: http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~waddington/314/g2maps.html http://www.africarte.it/foto-storiche/foto_storiche.htm Reference

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