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Quotes

Quote #34

[The brickmaker to Marlow]: "'You are of the new gang - the gang of virtue.'" (1.59)

We're not sure that "virtue" is a word that means anything in this novel, much less anything when applied to the pilgrims.

Quote #35

"I let him run on, this papier-mâché Mephistopheles [the brickmaker] […]." (1.61)

Just in case we haven't picked up on the fact that the brickmaker is totally corrupt, Marlow calls him Mephistopheles, the devil figure in Goethe's Faust.

Quote #36

"You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies - which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world - what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do. Temperament, I suppose. Well, I went near enough to it by letting the young fool there believe anything he liked to imagine as to my influence in Europe. I became in an instant as much of a pretence as the rest of the bewitched pilgrims." (1.61)

Marlow may hate lies, but he comes pretty close to lying by letting the brickmaker think he's influential. And in the end, he admits that he's become "as much of a pretence as the rest of the bewitched pilgrims" by letting himself lie. Sigh. There are just no heroes any more.

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