Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
[Marlow to the Intended]: "'The last word he pronounced was - your name.'" (3.85)
This one's tricky. Marlow is lying and lying's wrong, right? Well, yes. Except that he does it to preserve the Intended's lovely illusion of Kurtz. It could be considered an act of mercy—unless you think that it's just another excuse for slavery and coercion.
"It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle." (3.86)
By the end of the novel, Marlow has come to some conclusions about the world: it's ultimately indifferent to good and veil. There are no gods to pass judgment; there's no punishment for a tiny little lie. Hm. Is that a freeing realization—or is it just super depressing?
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. (3.87)
If Marlow is like the Buddha, then we're assuming that Conrad wants us to think he's been enlightened in some way. Unfortunately, his knowledge isn't exactly comforting.