Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness, 1899

I have several questions, please can anyone help me?

Part I

1. Consider first the setting at the opening of the story. Where are we, and how is this place described?

2. Next, pay attention to the narrative perspective. Who is the narrator in the first few pages? What is Marlow’s role? What are the first few things he says? When you have read the whole novel, return to his opening statements and speculate on their meaning.

3. Why does Marlow desire to go to Africa? As you read on, note what other motives white men have for going there.

4. Describe Marlow’s impressions when he arrives at the Company Station. What kind of place is this? Here Marlow comes into close contact with African people. What is their situation and what are Marlow’s reactions?

5. The Company’s chief accountant. What is he like and what are Marlow’s feelings about him?

6. Marlow’s encounter with Mr. Kurtz, an agent in charge of a trading post or “the chief of the Inner Station,” is of fundamental importance in the text. At the Company Station, Marlow first hears about Kurtz. What do people say about him at this point and what attitudes do the other characters later on have to him?

7. The Central Station. When Marlow arrives, his steamer is at the bottom of the river. Why does it take him three months to get it repaired? Describe the Manager and his relationship to Kurtz. Who are the “pilgrims” and why does Marlow call them so? What does the “brick-maker” mean by “the gang of virtue”?

Part II

1. At beginning of part II, Marlow overhears a conversation. What do we learn about Kurtz here?

2. On board, there are a number of cannibals. What is Marlow’s attitude to these men, (they surprise him for a specific reason) and what does he say about their working conditions?

3. In one section, Marlow says: “We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.” Find that statement and look closely at the ways in which the African jungle and the Africans are described, as well as at how Marlow imagines his own relationship with the Africans. Here you will find the example of the fireman. Later on, you will encounter the helmsman. Analyze Marlow’s relationship to this African.

Part III

1. The Russian. Is he similar to the other white men? (Consider, for instance, the Manager and the pilgrims) What is the Russian’s relationship to Kurtz?

2. In this part, Marlow finally arrives at the Inner Station. What is shocking about Kurtz’ house? How does Marlow interpret the decorations? What does it remind him of?

3. How is Kurtz’s African mistress described?

4. What does Marlow learn about Kurtz? What has happened to Kurtz out there in the African jungle? What are the different meanings given to his last words, “The horror! The horror!”? In the end, what are Marlow’s feelings about Kurtz?

5. The story ends with Marlow’s meeting with Kurtz’s “Intended”. What is the significance of his lie to her?

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1) The novel opens on a cruiser called the Nellie, which is traveling down the Thames.

"The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth."

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Heart of Darkness

I do not know how to edit my questation. :(

You don't have to edit them.... simply place each question in a separate question capsule.

I am a new member but I will ask a question at the time ^^

Thank you for your answear, for my question.