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Heart of Darkness
Transcript of Heart of Darkness
39) From the conversation he overhears, Marlow hears Kurtz’s name and “take advantage of this unfortunate accident.” Marlow later learns that the brickmaker wants to take the position of assistant manager and has a chance since Kurtz is ill.
40) Marlow’s attitude towards the manager is that he is cold and really shouldn’t have the job he has. He sees the Central Station as a place where the natives are treated inhumanely.
41) The meaning of Kurtz’s painting represents a paradox of the African situation, as the blindfolded woman shows how “blind” Europeans are to what Africa is like and the torch shows the attempt to bring new opportunity into Africa.
42) The painting gives the impression that Kurtz is a very deep and philosophical man. Questions 38-42: 33) Marlow discovers the ship he was to command had wrecked as the bottom was torn out by stones and thus sank. The ship needed months of repairs.
34) He’s told that it would take at least three months, and he immediately begins to sense trouble and difficulty in completing the task and questions the manager’s ability to organize and handle the situation. The rivets situation is just one in many in the novel, that what would be so easily found elsewhere is nearly impossible to find here. Items of little significance in other areas are a commodity in another.
35) The flabby devil is implied to be the companion whom fainted frequently and needed constant attention.
36) Marlow is so frustrated by who he meets simply because the Europeans lie, his “pet peeve”, to further themselves and they all seem rather incapable at performing the tasks. He is further bothered by the treatment of the natives and the brutal way of life everyone else has come to accept.
37) The manager is described at causing “uneasiness” but not respect, nor fear. He seems common perhaps a little ignorant and “neither civil nor uncivil.” But he had the ability to problem solve, when the men fought over precedence at the table, he built a round table for everyone to sit at. Questions 33-37: 43) The woman is blindfolded and carrying a lighted torch, and gives the impression that she is absorbed into the darkness of the painting. The painting symbolizes the Company bringing the “light” of civilization into the “Dark Continent” of Africa. The “light” also reveals a sinister side of colonization, marked by the woman’s face, which is blind to the horrors that it creates.
44) This event expresses the reality of Europe’s colonial ambitions in Africa. The burning hut and treasures symbolize the Europeans’ raid when they conquered the African continent, and the bottomless pail represents their unsuccessful attempt to hide their cruel, greedy ways. This event contributes the realities of the brutality and savagery towards the Africans to Marlow’s and the reader’s sense of European life in Africa. This episode also serves as a sign of the European’s journey to self-destruction. Their careless attitude towards nature and other people, just to feed their infinite hunger for riches and power, will end up overwhelming and consuming them completely, while their bottomless pail is deemed useless to reverse this evil.
45) The brick maker is one of the manager’s favorite people and seems to be a company spy. He never makes any bricks because he claims to be waiting for some necessary material that is never delivered. He is petty and cunning and assumes that everyone one else is, too. A “papier-mâché Mephistopheles” is essentially a paper doll of the devil. Marlow calls the brick maker a “papier-mâché Mephistopheles” because he is not really Mephistopheles but has many characteristics attributed to Satan, including greed, idleness, ambition, and sycophancy.
Questions 43-47: 46) Marlow lied to the brick maker, allowing him to think he had more influence in the company than he actually did. He told this lie because he believed it would help Kurtz. It would help Marlow get the rivets he needed to fix the boat, which would give Kurtz a means of communication and a way out of the jungle. Also, if Marlow was considered powerful, he would be able to protect Kurtz from the people in the company who were jealous and wanted to hang him. Essentially, Marlow would be protecting Kurtz’s life, which justifies the lie.
47) Marlow means that his work is the only way he can stay sane. This attitude toward work is important for him in Africa because in order to survive in the Congo, he must remain sane and not give in to the madness, corruption, and darkness around him. Marlow also views work as a way to discover and learn things about oneself. Questions 46 and 47: 48) The effect created by this is one of a slight mystery around Kurtz, how he seemed to be nothing but a dream, not really a man. The repetition of “to see” serves to show Marlow trying to get them to picture in their minds what is going on. He is saying it is difficult to tell the story just as it is hard to tell a dream; you can never get the true point across because you can’t express the expression that occurred.
49) Rivets are important to Marlow because he wants to get to work and fix the boat so he can use it. He is also annoyed that at the coast rivets are so commonplace but where he was they were extremely hard to come by.
50) The dark figure is not explicitly explained, though it may be the manager’s uncle, who is considered a bad person; he heads the Eldorado group which strips the land of its resources.
51) He says that he finds their expedition to be a reckless , greedy one. He thinks they have come only to rob the land of its riches just as a robber steals money from a safe.
52) The Eldorado Exploration Expedition is related to the idea of the greed and cruelty the Europeans showed when they were stripping the Congo of its resources.
53) The stages of Marlow’s journey are to the coast, outer station, and the inner station. Each stage represents how the Congo looks as you get further into it. The coast is beautiful and lush looking, the outer station seems to be very much like a business, the central station begins to show the bad sides of the business going on, as well as the exploitation of the people. The inner station shows the truth of what goes on in the area. Questions 48-53: