From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness


by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Chapter 1 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Charlie Marlow

Quote 25

"I asked myself what I was to do there, now my boat was lost. As a matter of fact, I had plenty to do in fishing my command out of the river. I had to set about it the very next day. That, and the repairs when I brought the pieces to the station, took some months." (1.51)

Marlow is so intent on making his journey that he loses no time in beginning repairs on the steamboat. However, the damage is done and he must delay his trip yet again.

Quote 26

"Oh, these months!" (1.55)

Conrad uses these delays to increase the sense of suspense and give Marlow (and the readers) more time to grow curious about Kurtz.

Quote 27

"However, they were all waiting – all the sixteen or twenty pilgrims of them – for something; and upon my word it did not seem an uncongenial occupation, from the way they took it, though the only thing that ever came to them was disease – as far as I could see. They beguiled the time by back-biting and intriguing against each other in a foolish kind of way. There was an air of plotting about that station, but nothing came of it, of course." (1.56)

Conrad plays with time to give the situation a feeling of futility and ineptitude. Everyone experiences a sense of delay and, particularly in Marlow’s case, a sense of endless ennui in the constant waiting.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...