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Heart of Darkness: Lecture 1.0

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Nate Tapp

on 17 March 2011

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Transcript of Heart of Darkness: Lecture 1.0

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad the Narrator Marlow Why is the story told in this way? "The Scramble for Africa" The Berlin Conference What's with all the ambiguity? Colinization "The conquest of the earth , which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves..."
-Conrad, p. 7 "Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame they all had gone out on that stream, bearing the sword, and often the torch, messengers of the might within the land, bearers of a spark from that sacred fire."
-Conrad, p. 5 Other notables "Or think of a decent young citizen in a toga--perhaps too much dice, you know--coming out here in the train of some perfect, or tax-gatherer, or trader even--to mend his fortunes. Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the . The utter had closed round him--all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men."
-Conrad, p. 6 savagery savagery "He began again, lifting one arm from the elbow, palm of the hand outwards, so that with his legs folded before him he had the pose of a Buddha preaching in European clothes and without a lotus flower..."
-Conrad, p. 7 Who found this antithesis ? "True by this time it was not a blank space any more. It had got filled since my boyhood with rivers and lakes and names. It had ceased to be a blank space of delightful mystery--a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of ."
-Conrad, p. 8 darkness Why is he so vague? Moving on... "'When you see ,' he went on, 'tell him from me that everything here'--he glanced at his desk--'is very satisfactory.'"
-Conrad, p. 19 Mr. Kurtz Marlow refers to this as the "grove..." Are things "satisfactory"? "A slight clinking behind me made me turn my head. Six black men advanced in a file toiling up the path. They walked erect and slow, balancing small baskets full of earth on their heads, and the clink kept in time with their footsteps."
-Conrad, p. 15 "They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages. Behind this raw matter one of the reclaimed, the product of the new forces at work, strolled despondently carrying a rifle by its middle. He had a uniform jacket with one button off, and seeing a white man on the path, hoisted his weapon to his shoulder with alacrity. This was simple prudence, white men being so much alike at a distance that he could not tell who I might be. He was speedily reassured, and with a large, white, rascally grin, and a glance at his charge, seemed to take me into partnership in his exalted trust. After all, I also was a part of the great cause of these high and just proceedings."
-Conrad, p. 16 Tone? "But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly."
-Conrad, p. 16 "Another mine on the cliff went off followed by slight shudder of the soil under my feet. The work was going on. The work! And this was the place where some of the helpers had withdrawn to die."
-Conrad, p.17 "...of DEATH." Talk about interior vs. exterior... The Center Station "I remembered the old doctor—‘It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot.’ I felt I was becoming scientifically interesting. However, all that is to no purpose."
-Conrad, p. 20 "... I noticed a small sketch in oils, on a panel, representing a woman, draped and blindfolded, carrying a lighted torch. The background was sombre--almost black. The movement of the woman was stately, and the effect of the torch-light on the face was sinister."
-Conrad, p. 25
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