Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Good vs. Evil Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"I said with something like despair in my heart, but bowing my head before the faith that was in her [the Intended], before that great and saving illusion that shone with an unearthly glow in the darkness, in the triumphant darkness from which I could not have defended her—from which I could not even defend myself." (3.62)
The Intended believes unwaveringly in the goodness of Kurtz. Too bad it's all a lie. Which makes us ask: do all illusions shine "with an unearthly glow"? If light is an illusion and darkness is truth, which one is really better? Can we even say that one is better?
"She [the Intended] said suddenly very low, 'He died as he lived.'
'His end,' said I, with dull anger stirring in me, 'was in every way worthy of his life.'" (3.73-74)
Well, this is a skillfully ambiguous statement. Marlow manages to condemn Kurtz (since his life wasn't so great) while still letting the Intended think that he was a great guy. Nicely done.
[Marlow to the Intended]: "'The last word he pronounced was - your name.'" (3.85)
This one's tricky. Marlow is lying and lying's wrong, right? Well, yes. Except that he does it to preserve the Intended's lovely illusion of Kurtz. It could be considered an act of mercy—unless you think that it's just another excuse for slavery and coercion.