Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes Page 13

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How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Quote 37

"These round knobs were not ornamental but symbolic; they were expressive and puzzling, striking and disturbing - food for thought and also for vultures if there had been any looking down from the sky; but at all events for such ants as were industrious enough to ascend the pole. They would have been even more impressive, those heads on the stakes, if their faces had not been turned to the house. Only one, the first I had made out, was facing my way. I was not so shocked as you may think. The start back I had given was really nothing but a movement of surprise. I had expected to see a knob of wood there, you know. I returned deliberately to the first I had seen - and there it was, black, dried, sunken, with closed eyelids - a head that seemed to sleep at the top of that pole, and, with the shrunken dry lips showing a narrow white line of the teeth, was smiling, too, smiling continuously at some endless and jocose dream of that eternal slumber." (3.4)

Marlow's shocked to find out that those ornamental knobs surrounding Kurtz's house aren't wooden but, er, human. Yep, we're going to go with evil.

Quote 38

"He [Kurtz] hated all this, and somehow he couldn't get away. When I had a chance I begged him to try and leave while there was time; I offered to go back with him. And he would say yes, and then he would remain; go off on another ivory hunt; disappear for weeks; forget himself amongst these people—forget himself—you know.'" (3.4)

Kurtz can't eat just one. Or do just one evil deed. Even though he claims to hate the whole thing, Kurtz stays in the interior. It's claimed him.

Quote 39

"But the wilderness had found him (Kurtz) out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude - and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating." (3.5)

Check out how Marlow personifies the wilderness, making it into a living, breathing force of evil.

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