Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Charlie Marlow Quotes
"The woods were unmoved, like a mask—heavy, like the closed door of a prison - they looked with their air of hidden knowledge, of patient expectation, of unapproachable silence." (3.4)
Look, we get that Marlow is a little freaked about by all this nature, but we're starting to suspect that he's taking it too seriously. They're just trees. Right? Right??
"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?
"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.)