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Heart of Darkness: Marlow's Quest

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Brishty Som

on 29 October 2014

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Transcript of Heart of Darkness: Marlow's Quest

Heart of Darkness: Marlow's Quest
By: Brishty Som and David Nachuega
"The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest...sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like beginning of an interminable waterway..."
Thames River
London, England
Central Station
"I watched the coast. Watching a coast as it slips by the ship is like thinking about an enigma...smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, insipid, or savage, and always whispering, 'Come and find out' as if still in the making, with an aspect of monotonous grimness."
Congo River
"A long decaying building was half buried in the tall grass; the large holes in the peaked roof gaped black from afar."
Inner Station
Organized Brainstorming
Mr. Kurtz
Kurtz's "Disciples"
"You should have heard him say, 'My ivory...my Intended, my station, my river...' everything belonged to him"
"The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own."
Important Scenes/ Quotes
Freud's Theories
The Unconscious Mind-
When events are too painful to rememeber, and stay in the unconscious part of the mind. This process is called Repression.
Id- operates in the unconscious level according to the pleasure principle, and contains two kinds of biological instincts, Eros and Thanatos.

Eros helps the individual to survive and direct life-sustaining activities, while Thanatos is a set of destructive forces present in all human beings.
Libido– a sexual urge. Freud beleived that a child exposed to different stages developed different personalities.
Major Stages of Development- must successfully complete each stage inorder to be mentally healthy. Mental abnormality can occur if a stage is not completed successfully and the person stays in a particular stage. Freud's theory shows how adult personality is determined by their childhood experiences.
the Company
The Director
Conrad's Psychoanalysis
When Marlow is about to embark on his journey with the Company, he flashes back to the day he signed his contract with the organization. Marlow enters the building full of spirit and confidence and "flew around like mad to get ready...crossing the Channel to show [himself] to [his] employer..." However, once he encounter's the ominous women "knitting" his fate and signs the contract, Marlow comes out feeling scared and apprehensive as if he was on a path to hell instead.

Conrad puts Marlow in this situation because he is having doubts of his path of life. He once was happy and had purpose, but one wrong move led his life to hell and depression. This memory lies in Conrad's unconscious mind because he does not want to revisit the time he became doubtful of his life.
Conrad's Psychoanalysis
Conrad's Psychoanalysis
Conrad's Psychoanalysis
Return to Thames River London, England
Conrad's Psychoanalysis
"A rocky cliff appeared...houses on a hill, others with iron roofs...hanging to the declivity"
The Swedish Captain
"I could see every rib; the joints of their limbs like knots in a rope; each had an iron collar on his neck and connected together with a chain...with that deathlike indifference of unhappy savages..."
When Marlow reaches the Company's Central Station, he is shocked by the condition of the land. Marlow describes the station as "three wooden barrack-like structures on the rocky slope." Not only is he unsettled by the new terrain, but he is also abandoned by the Swedish captain. Marlow and the captain spent time together telling stories and traveling down the Atlantic Ocean. Marlow is thrust into the new environment with "black men advancing in a file... balancing baskets on their heads...all connected together with a chain..." and tries to adjust to the new lifestyle.

Conrad relates Marlow's experience to the savage land to relflect how greed and enterprise destroys original civilizations. He believes that human-kind is more savage and cruel than the prejudices given to the African natives because the Company invaded their land and bound them to forced labor to make a quick profit. Conrad is trying to repress this aspect of mankind because he does not want to admit that he feels cruel and prejudiced towards other people even though he has no reason.
Ego- develops from the id during infancy and must satisfy the demands of the id in a safe socially acceptable way.

However, the ego is more in reality because it is both in the conscious and unconscious mind
Superego- develops during early childhood and is responsible for ensuring moral standards are followed. It operates on the morality and motivates people to behave in a socially acceptable manner. The superego can also make a person feel guilty if rules are not followed.
The African Natives
Mr. Kurtz
Kurtz's Influenced Natives
"You should have heard him say, 'My ivory...my Intended, my station, my river...' everything belonged to him"
Mr. Kurtz
Kurtz's Mistress
"...his abject pleading, abject threats, colossal scale of vile desires, the meanness, the torment, the tempestuous anguish of his soul."
On his journey with the Company, Marlow travels from London, England to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As he travels down the Atlantic Ocean, Marlow, with the Swedish captain, experiences the different geographies and civilizations between England and the Congo. As he sees the savagery and destruction caused by England enterprises, Marlow changes perspectives from the wealthy, high society Englishmen to the ruined, decayed home of the African natives.

Conrad creates the perspective of changing social classes because his ego has been damaged. Since ego is both part of the conscious and unconsious mind, Conrad is both aware and unaware of his changing social classes. Based on Marlow's adventure, Conrad explains his decent from a high society and respected life to a desolate and depressd path.
Throughout the novel, Marlow has been in search of the Inner Station and Mr. Kurtz. His interest is first piqued when the managers of the Company first complain of Kurtz's selfishness and fervid pleasure of ivory. One manager complained, "You should have heard him say, 'My ivory...my Intended, my station, my river...' everything belonged to him." When Marlow talks to the African native, the native defends Kurtz as an enterpriser who kills for collections of ivory.

As Marlow continues his quest to find Kurtz and the Inner Station he begins to see the double personalities of Kurtz. The natives see him as a merciless god, and the Company veiws Kurtz as an egotistical, selfish businessman. With these split personalities, Conrad portrays to the audience that he sees humans as containing these personalities. On one hand mankind is beneficial becaue of innovation and creative thinking, while humans also destroy other people's civilizations and try to exploit nature and other communitys.
When Marlow travels back to London taking the dying Kurtz with him, Kurtz starts confessing "the horrors" he experienced in Africa. Kurtz constantly reveals "...his abject pleading, abject threats, colossal scale of vile desires, the meanness, the torment, the tempestuous anguish of his soul." Not only is Kurtz having nightmares from his time in Africa, but his mistress follows him to London and pleads with Marlow to reveal Kurtz's last words because she passionately loved him.

Conrad represses many emotions in this scene by creating Kurtz dying and confessing his sins. Conrad must have some of these issues of intense greed and uncare because he portrays Kurtz as a person ready to murder and enslave innocent civilians for their priceless ivory collections. While Conrad does not want to think of this detrimental aspect of him, his want of wealth and supremacy show through Kurtz's character.
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