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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)

Quote 82

"'He [the harlequin] suspected there was an active ill-will towards him on the part of these white men that—.' 'You are right,' I said, remembering a certain conversation I had overheard. 'The manager thinks you ought to be hanged.'" (3.21)

The manager's racism extends towards Russians as well. He wants to kill the harlequin simply because he's different from the others. That, or maybe he just doesn't like the guy's silly clothes.

Quote 83

[When leaving the Inner Station with Kurtz]: "In front of the first rank, along the river, three men, plastered with bright red earth from head to foot, strutted to and fro restlessly. When we came abreast again, they faced the river, stamped their feet, nodded their horned heads, swayed their scarlet bodies; they shook towards the fierce river-demon a bunch of black feathers, a mangy skin with a pendant tail—something that looked like a dried gourd; they shouted periodically together strings of amazing words that resembled no sounds of human language; and the deep murmurs of the crowd, interrupted suddenly, were like the responses of some satanic litany." (3.30)

White men view the native Africans as "savages" in their paint and armed with their strange weapons. Their language is so alien that it sounds like a "satanic litany." Which, unless it says "here's to my sweet Satan" when played backwards, sounds like a stretch to us.

Quote 84

"Glamour urged him on, glamour kept him unscathed. He surely wanted nothing from the wilderness but space to breathe in and to push on through. His need was to exist, and to move onwards at the greatest possible risk, and with a maximum of privation. If the absolutely pure, uncalculating, unpractical spirit of adventure had ever ruled a human being, it ruled this bepatched youth. I almost envied him the possession of this modest and clear flame. It seemed to have consumed all thought of self so completely, that even while he was talking to you, you forgot that it was he—the man before your eyes—who had gone through these things." (3.1)

The harlequin is depicted as a shell of a man driven on only by "glamour" or the "pure…spirit of adventure."

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