Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Good vs. Evil Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"He [Kurtz] hated all this, and somehow he couldn't get away. When I had a chance I begged him to try and leave while there was time; I offered to go back with him. And he would say yes, and then he would remain; go off on another ivory hunt; disappear for weeks; forget himself amongst these people—forget himself—you know.'" (3.4)
Kurtz can't eat just one. Or do just one evil deed. Even though he claims to hate the whole thing, Kurtz stays in the interior. It's claimed him.
"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 personifies the wilderness, making it into a living, breathing force of evil.
"His [Kurtz's] ascendancy was extraordinary. The camps of these people surrounded the place, and the chiefs came every day to see him. They would crawl. '[…] I don't want to know anything of the ceremonies used when approaching Mr. Kurtz,' I shouted. Curious, this feeling that came over me that such details would be more intolerable than those heads drying on the stakes under Mr. Kurtz's windows. After all, that was only a savage sight, while I seemed at one bound to have been transported into some lightless region of subtle horrors, where pure, uncomplicated savagery was a positive relief, being something that had a right to exist—obviously - in the sunshine." (3.6)
Marlow still has a shred of morality left—let's say, enough to keep from downloading illegal music, but not enough to keep from sharing his Netflix login. He's not horrified at the thought of living in a world where evil can exist openly, but he is terrified by the thought of people (like the native Africans) openly worshipping evil.