Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"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 describes the wilderness almost like Kurtz's lover—whispering to him, hanging out alone with him, being all sexy and "irresistibly fascinating." How could he pass that up?
"I noticed that the crowd of savages was vanishing without any perceptible movement of retreat, as if the forest that had ejected these beings so suddenly had drawn them in again as the breath is drawn in a long aspiration." (3.9)
The native Africans are merely an extension of the wilderness—a living, breathing wilderness that is drawing its minions back in as it inhales. Yikes.
"She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her, pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul." (3.14)
Like the wilderness, the warrior woman is savage, wild, magnificent, and, oh yeah, ominous, almost as though she's the soul of the wilderness. (And if she is the soul of the wilderness, what does it mean that she's also probably Kurtz's mistress?)