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"I remained to dream the nightmare out to the end, and to show my loyalty to Kurtz once more. Destiny. My destiny! Droll thing life is – that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself – that comes too late – a crop of unextinguishable regrets." (3.48)
Marlow shows contempt for Fate. He cannot fathom it or its purpose. But he does learn from it; he learns of his deepest self but is also left with "a crop of unextinguishable regrets." In Heart of Darkness, Fate does not seem to have a happy ending for anyone.
"The glamour of youth enveloped his [the harlequin’s] parti-coloured rags, his destitution, his loneliness, the essential desolation of his futile wanderings. For months - for years - his life hadn't been worth a day's purchase; and there he was gallantly, thoughtlessly alive, to all appearances indestructible solely by the virtue of his few years and of his unreflecting audacity." (3.1)
The harlequin has survived in the wilderness for years, despite the fact that back in Europe, he is not worth a "day’s purchase" – or a single payday. However, in the interior, time becomes as warped as reality.
[The harlequin]: "'We talked of everything,' he said, quite transported at the recollection. 'I forgot there was such a thing as sleep. The night did not seem to last an hour." (3.2)
The harlequin’s conversations with Kurtz were so engaging that time seemed to fly for them. Words have a way of warping time.