Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Chapter 3 Quotes Page 25

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How we cite the quotes:
Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Quote 73

"Her face had a tragic and fierce aspect of wild sorrow and of dumb pain mingled with the fear of some struggling, half-shaped resolve. She stood looking at us without a stir, and like the wilderness itself, with an air of brooding over an inscrutable purpose." (3.15)

Like the wilderness (yep, we're still on this), the warrior woman is "fierce" but also "dumb" or silent. Her purpose is uncertain and only "half-shaped," as if the wilderness has not yet decided what to do about its invaders. (You have to love how Marlow sees women, right? Not.)

Quote 74

"She turned away slowly, walked on, following the bank, and passed into the bushes to the left. Once only her eyes gleamed back at us in the dusk of the thickets before she disappeared." (3.16)

If the warrior woman is supposed to be something like Mother Nature (which we kind of think she is), this is a pretty menacing show of potential power.

Quote 75

"One of the agents with a picket of a few of our blacks, armed for the purpose, was keeping guard over the ivory; but deep within the forest, red gleams that wavered, that seemed to sink and rise from the ground amongst confused columnar shapes of intense blackness, showed the exact position of the camp where Mr. Kurtz's adorers were keeping their uneasy vigil. The monotonous beating of a big drum filled the air with muffled shocks and a lingering vibration. A steady droning sound of many men chanting each to himself some weird incantation came out from the black, flat wall of the woods as the humming of bees comes out of a hive, and had a strange narcotic effect upon my half-awake senses." (3.23)

This kind of sounds like the last night of summer camp, but we're guessing Conrad meant it to be a lot more menacing, what with the hellish, eerie colors of fiery red and "intense blackness." Also, cannibals.

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