Heart of Darkness
Good vs. Evil Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle." (3.86)
By the end of the novel, Marlow has come to some conclusions about the world: it's ultimately indifferent to good and veil. There are no gods to pass judgment; there's no punishment for a tiny little lie. Hm. Is that a freeing realization—or is it just super depressing?
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. (3.87)
If Marlow is like the Buddha, then we're assuming that Conrad wants us to think he's been enlightened in some way. Unfortunately, his knowledge isn't exactly comforting.
"The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness." (3.87)
That sound you heard was the anvil of symbolism. Conrad closes the novel with a scene of darkness, suggesting heavy-handedly that evil exists and no one cares. Awesome.