Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Charlie Marlow Quotes
"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 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.
"'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.