Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"'You knew him best,' I repeated. And perhaps she did. But with every word spoken the room was growing darker, and only her forehead, smooth and white, remained illumined by the unextinguishable light of belief and love." (3.56)
As the Intended doubles down on her lies, the darkness grows. We're pretty sure it's a metaphorical darkness.
"I said with something like despair in my heart, but bowing my head before the faith that was in her [the Intended], before that great and saving illusion that shone with an unearthly glow in the darkness, in the triumphant darkness from which I could not have defended her—from which I could not even defend myself." (3.62)
The Intended believes unwaveringly in the goodness of Kurtz. Too bad it's all a lie. Which makes us ask: do all illusions shine "with an unearthly glow"? If light is an illusion and darkness is truth, which one is really better? Can we even say that one is better?
"She [the Intended] said suddenly very low, 'He died as he lived.'
'His end,' said I, with dull anger stirring in me, 'was in every way worthy of his life.'" (3.73-74)
Well, this is a skillfully ambiguous statement. Marlow manages to condemn Kurtz (since his life wasn't so great) while still letting the Intended think that he was a great guy. Nicely done.