Heart of Darkness

The lie that Marlow told...

What astronomical lie did Marlow tell Kurtz's Intended?

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In the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the seaman Marlow tells a big lie to Kurtz’s Intended. To Marlow “[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”. He hates and detests those who lie but lowers himself to doing it himself at the end of the novel. There are many reasons why he does this. Unlike the lies the Manager and the Brickmaker might tell to further their own selfish agendas, Marlow’s one lie serves to protect Kurtz and his Intended as well as to prevent the jungle’s darkness and evil from complicating the situation one last time. Marlow lies because he knows that the truth would cause more pain and complication than it is worth. He is ready to put this experience behind him and to move on with his life and he makes it easier for himself and the Intended by telling a lie. At the end of the Heart of Darkness, Marlow betrays his morals by telling a huge lie to Kurtz’s Intended in order to protect the Intended from the painful truth, to prevent the darkness of the jungle from having a prolonged effect, and to continue his own loyalty to Kurtz and protect Kurtz’s reputation.