Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"'[…] Who was not his friend who had heard him speak once?' she (the Intended) was saying. 'He drew men towards him by what was best in them.' She looked at me with intensity. 'It is the gift of the great,' she went on […]." (3.61)
The Intended puts great store by Kurtz’s words, believing that they lured men to him and earned him his admiration from all mankind. She is naïve about the true motivations of men which are often far darker and more self-serving.
[The Intended]: "‘I feel I can speak to you - and oh! I must speak. I want you – you who have heard his last words – to know I have been worthy of him. […] It is not pride. […] Yes! I am proud to know I understood him better than any one on earth – he told me so himself.’" (3.59)
The Intended equates speaking with understanding, begging Marlow to speak to her of Kurtz because he was one of the few who understood him as she did.
"And the memory of what I had heard him say afar there, with the horned shapes stirring at my back, in the glow of fires, within the patient woods, those broken phrases came back to me, were heard again in their ominous and terrifying simplicity. I remembered his abject pleading, his abject threats, the colossal scale of his vile desires, the meanness, the torment, the tempestuous anguish of his soul. And later on I seemed to see his collected languid manner, when he said one day, 'This lot of ivory now is really mine. The Company did not pay for it. I collected it myself at a very great personal risk. I am afraid they will try to claim it as theirs though. H'm. It is a difficult case. What do you think I ought to do – resist? Eh? I want no more than justice.' […]." (3.51)
When having flashbacks, Marlow primarily remembers Kurtz’s words, emphasizing his conviction that Kurtz has only a voice, not a true presence.