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Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness


by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes

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

Charlie Marlow

Quote 58

"I know that the sunlight can be made to lie too, yet one felt that no manipulation of light and pose could have conveyed the delicate shade of truthfulness upon those features." (3.48)

Marlow doesn't trust the sunlight anymore because he has learned from his experience in the interior that light can be deceitful or hellish. (Plus, it can give you wicked sunburns.) However, he trusts the Intended because he believes women are naïve. Hm. We're thinking that's a bad idea.

Quote 59

"A grand piano stood massively in a corner, with dark gleams on the flat surfaces like a somber and polished sarcophagus." (3.52)

Hello, paradox! The piano's surfaces are full of "dark gleams," a sinister oxymoron that has us scratching our heads a bit. The piano reminds Marlow of a "polished sarcophagus," a repository for the dead. We're guessing that pretty much everything reminds Marlow of death now.

Quote 60

"She [the Intended] came forward, all in black, with a pale head, floating towards me in the dusk. She was in mourning…The room seemed to have grown darker, as if all the sad light of the cloudy evening had taken refuge on her forehead. This fair hair, this pale visage, this pure brow, seemed surrounded by an ashy halo from which the dark eyes looked out at me. Their glance was guileless, profound, confident, and trustful." (3.52)

Whew. Now we're back on solid ground: the shining brow and hair of the fair girl indicates her goodness and purity while the darkness represents her sorrow. Right? Right??

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