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Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad

Good vs. Evil Quotes Page 14

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #40

"'Each station should be like a beacon on the road towards better things, a centre for trade of course, but also for humanizing, improving, instructing.' Conceive you - that ass!" (2.2)

Sure, a "beacon": a beacon of immorality and evil. The manager is a hypocrite. Nothing he does helps the stations improve. In fact, under his authority, everything has decayed.

Quote #41

[The manager's uncle]: "'Ah! my boy, trust to this—I say, trust to this.' I saw him extend his short flipper of an arm for a gesture that took in the forest, the creek the mud, the river—seemed to beckon with a dishonouring flourish before the sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart. It was so startling that I leaped to my feet and looked back at the edge of the forest, as though I had expected an answer of some sort to that black display of confidence." (2.2)

We're used to thinking of nature as a relatively friendly, nurturing place—Mother Nature, and all that. But the manager's uncle assumes that Nature is evil, and Marlow obviously agrees. Awesome! Another binary smashed.

Quote #42

There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. (2.5)

Sunlight is supposed to be symbol of truth or a blessing from God. Here, it's the exact opposite: there's "no joy" in its brilliance or heat. It's oppressive, just like everything else.

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