Marrow and Kurt believe women symbolize decency and purity -Women represent goodness: men need to see this purity to balance with the evil they have seen Marrow believes women are the keepers of Illusions (naive); they live In a dream world -these Illusions are needed for the white men to Justify colonialism -“It’s queer how out of touch with truth women Ariel They live in a world of their own and there had never been anything like it and never can be.
Some confounded fact we men have been living contentedly with ever since the day of creation would start p and knock the whole thing over” (peg. 10) Kurt believes women show the wealth and status of men; they are objects African Mistress: “she walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments.
She carried her head high She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately In her deliberate process” (peg 56) plays the role of an actual Incarnation of Africa and its dark mysteries -Marrow’s description: native woman is dark and savage, UT she is also gorgeous – because she is full of life passion that has vanished from Europe but can be found In Africa -loaded with Jewelry… Symbolizing Kurt wealth Quartz’s Intended: “She came forward, all in black, with a pale head, floating towards me in the dustћ.
I noticed she was not very young–l mean not girlish… The room seemed to have grown darker as if all the sad light of the cloudy evening had taken refuge on her forehead. This fair hair, this pale visage, this pure brow, seemed surrounded by an ashy halo from which the dark eyes looked at me” (peg. 68-69). – Intended description: connected with the imagery of light and heaven -sees Kurt as a saint… Naive and idealistic view of Kurt -Marrow’s aunt similar to Intended: sheltered from the actual reality of their world and they are both wives and perfect companions to the manly men. Contrast to Mistress: Quartz’s mistress: behaves In a completely different way than all other women of the novel, because she is different socially and culturally. Knitting Women: 2 women Marrow sees at the offices of the Company: “Two women, one fat and the other slim, sat on straw-bottomed chairs, knitting black wool… Feverishly’ (peg. 7). -Symbolize Fate: 1 knits the thread of life, other cuts the thread of life -Fat- life; Slim- death; Young- life; Old- death; Black- death They are “guarding the door of darkness” (8)… Eve eerie; uneasy feeling -use of Latin: Moratorium et sultan – those about to die salute you (for the old knitter) Title: Heart of Darkness Theme of HOOD: discovery of darkness, morally and spiritually, as well as physically Meaning: ‘Heart’- innermost core ‘Darkness’- place where Marrow is (mentally) ‘Darkness’ In literal sense: Africa Is known as the “Dark Continent” -darkness could offer to the Africans In a racist manner, so Marrow is going Into the midst of Africa or deep into Africa -Congo is described as the heart of the African continent and a place shrouded in mystery with its savage people.
Thus, the “heart” refers to the center of uncivil habits of the people. ‘Darkness’ in figurative sense: referring to the darkness of the men’s soul and entity -Men have a lack of morality… Darkness of insanity/ madness… Cruelty of imperialism… Plot of HOOD is dark as a whole -Referring to: sin in the human heart. Marrow’s story describes many of his expedition peers as morally irrupt (lying or manipulating to receive power and wealth). Thus, the “heart” refers to the human heart and the “darkness” refers to evil or sin.
Marrows first words: “And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth” (peg 3). -Marrow refers to the bad and evil things he has witnessed and to the darkness that hides in the heart of every man… -Is he saying that Europe is as dark as Africa? In the 19th century? Marrow overhears a conversation between the Manager and his Uncle: “?seemed to beckon with a dishonoring flourish before the sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart” (29). The uncle doesn’t seem to care about the atrocities that men perform when released from the bonds of civilization as long as his nephew is doing well. Marrow has always seen Africa as a blank place in his map, with no information. It created a sense of mysteriousness about Africa, thus… A darkness of darkness The Horror: Quartz’s last words : “?he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: ‘The horror! The horror! ” (peg 64). At the end of the book, Kurt and Marrow are heading jack to civilization – Kurt: unstable physical and mental state… Dying Kurt may be referring to his experience… Al the things he did and saw in Congo – exploitation of Africa, evil that lays in the hearts of men, insanity/madness, illusions of hope and goodness Marrow is amazed that Kurt “pronounced a Judgment upon the adventures of his soul on this earth” (64) -Quartz’s Journey into the center of the African: gives him the permission and freedom to decide his own fate and pronounce lodgment over his own soul. -Thus, he has escaped the confines of the imperialist IEEE and found enlightenment among the natives of Africa. -Kurt regrets the ‘horrors’ he has committed and accepts responsibility for his actions… Sakes him respectable ‘Horror’ could also be the horror of life in the world itself… The evil (savage-greedy) of the world (through imperialism) horrifies Kurt ‘Horror’ could be describing what Kurt will endure in the afterlife. – At the last moment of life: Kurt sees what is ahead… Horror… Karma comes and bites him in his after life Horror should be unnamed and undefined and unclear. Getting too much into it will ruin its effect. It’s better for the horror to be mysterious and a different scenario for different readers. Marrow lies to Intended about Kurt last words… Eying that Kurt remembered her during his last moments on earth Marrow lies because he is torn between the desire to be truthful and the need to allow Intended a last piece of Kurt to remember as she knew him Marrow also sees Intended as the last thing/part left of Kurt (last good part)… Almost as if she is the only thing Kurt has affected purely Marrow can’t bear to destroy her with the truth… To spare her the burden… To keep her room knowing the evil and terror that Kurt inflicted There is a sense of darkness in Kurt that belongs in Congo, Africa and Marrow believes that darkness should stay in there.
If he told Intended the truth, the darkness would be released into the Western Africa: Congo River The key to Africa: Congo River… Symbolizes evil in the book Description: “… Resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land. And as I looked at the map… It fascinated me as a snake would a bird?a silly little bird” (6). Marrow describes himself as a “silly little bird” being “charmed” by a snake Just before it is killed… Foreshadowing.
Congo River: snake leading Marrow to the heart of darkness… Exposing him to the evils a man is capable of or can be tempted by River makes it difficult to go upstream… Keep traveling backwards towards civilization -struggles with river: struggles with Marrow trying to get into Africa… Heart of darkness Kurt: Reputation vs.. Reality Kurt is first mentioned to Marrow by the chief accountant of the trading Company at its first trading post when Marrow arrives. -The accountant describes Mr.. Kurt as a “first class agent” of the Company, adding that Kurt is a “very remarkable man. The accountant concludes his description of Kurt by saying that Kurt would soon rise to a high position in the administration, and that he might even become a member of the Council in Europe. -From the tone and the manner by which he talks about Kurt, it becomes clear to that the accountant is inwardly feeling Jealous of Kurt and is not very happy about Kurt rising to a high position The manager of the Central Station of the Company says that Kurt is the “best agent of the Company’, and that Kurt is n exceptional man, of the “greatest importance” to the Company.
Marrow meets the brick-maker at the Central Station. The brick-maker says that Kurt is a prodigy. -The brick-maker describes Kurt as an, “emissary of pity, of science, of progress, and devil knows of what else”. – The brick-maker says that Congo needs “the guidance of men of high intelligence, wide sympathies, and a singleness of purpose” implying: Kurt has those qualities in him. -The bricks maker: same view about the great potentialities of Kurt as the accountant and manager. But brick maker calls Kurt: “a universal genius.
Reputation with the natives: Throughout the years, Kurt becomes very friendly with the natives. -Native tribes: adore Kurt and became his followers. They felt deeply impressed by Kurt because they had never before seen or come across anybody like him. -Kurt overwhelmed the natives with his personality and with his awful ways as he could be terrible when needed. -Kurt is so powerful in this region that he can kill anyone whom he might wish to kill. In reality, Kurt was “hollow at the core”. Marrow: Imperialist vs.. Anti-imperialist Marrow says: Once Britain, ironically, was a country inhabited by barbarians.
Britain was invaded by the Romans who had great civilization while the people of Britain were living like savages. – The ancient Romans were conquerors who used brute force to gain… Grabbed what they could… Robbers who committed robbery with violence, and who committed murder on a great scale. -Romans wanted to conquer… Belief in the idea which prompts their conquests. Marrow learns about Quartz’s leadership over the Africans, and his regular participation in their rites and customs. Kurt has been taking over the midnight dances of the savages which end with unspeakable rites. -When with them, Kurt himself becomes a savage… In some Nays Mr.. Kurt has taken “a high seat amongst the devils of the land,” and now belongs to “the powers of the darkness. ” -Marrows view is that Mr.. Kurt has become Unholy evil… One of the savages. Marrow… Imperialist in most parts… Especially the beginning… Changes during the end Madness/ Insanity: Marrow and Kurt: struggle between awareness and madness Kurt is described as mad multiple times -description: “poor chap” who existed at “the farthest point of navigation” (5). This tote shows the state of Kurt mind Kurt has no form of authority over him… E doesn’t answer to anyone but himself… This causes greed, power and lust to arise… Thus, leads to madness Illness in physical sense: many suicides occur in HOOD -Once hired for the Job, Marrow checks both mental and physical health Racism: revealing to Africa… Europeans believed led to exotic diseases being spread (in both the mind and the body) Obsessions: Ivory or Kurt: Ivory is his obsession and also his motivation to be such a successful manager. Ivory contributes to Kurt rise to power: he procures so much more ivory Han all the other managers… Hush, many of those in power are Jealous of his success because of his efficiency. “Everything else in the station was in a muddle- heads, things, and buildings. Strings of dusty naggers with splay feet arrived and departed; a stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brass-wire set into the depths of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory. ” (86) Ivory: obsession to members of the Company. -Some of the men got so worked up in gaining Ivory… All other morals and sensibility Nas lost, thus, ivory represents greed.