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Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad

Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #16

"They had come together unavoidably, like two ships becalmed near each other, and lay rubbing sides at last." (3.2)

It seems destined that Kurtz and the harlequin should meet each other.

Quote #17

"The knitting old woman with the cat obtruded herself upon my memory as a most improper person to be sitting at the other end of such an affair." (3.26)

As Marlow chases Kurtz through the woods, the image of the old knitting woman (representing Fate) intrudes on his thoughts. Though it is only subconsciously, Marlow knows he is destined to find Kurtz in the wilderness and bring him back; he is destined to allow the greater evil to win.

Quote #18

"I was strangely cocksure of everything that night. I actually left the track and ran in a wide semicircle (I verily believe chuckling to myself) so as to get in front of that stir, of that motion I had seen - if indeed I had seen anything. I was circumventing Kurtz as though it had been a boyish game. " (3.27)

Marlow, driven by destiny, is sure of all his movements when chasing after Kurtz. He has enough confidence in fate to leave the manmade trail in the woods and strike out into the wilderness blindly, knowing he will find Kurtz. To him, it seems like a "boyish game," which is exactly what it is to the knitting Fates.

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