Heart of Darkness


how does this quote “The word ivory would ring in the air for a while-and on we went again into the silence" relate to futility?

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Marlow has the sense that they are preceding into places that white men were not meant to be at. He sees the madness in the eyes of white Europeans screaming about ivory. Marlow feels that whatever riches Europeans wish to find through ivory is an exercise in futility. They will pay for their ivory with their sanity and their soul.