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Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness


by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness The Harlequin Quotes

The Harlequin

Quote 7

[The harlequin]: "'You can't judge Mr. Kurtz as you would an ordinary man. No, no, no! Now - just to give you an idea - I don't mind telling you, he wanted to shoot me, too, one day - but I don't judge him.' 'Shoot you!' I cried 'What for?' 'Well, I had a small lot of ivory the chief of that village near my house gave me. You see I used to shoot game for them. Well, he wanted it, and wouldn't hear reason. He declared he would shoot me unless I gave him the ivory and then cleared out of the country, because he could do so, and had a fancy for it, and there was nothing on earth to prevent him killing whom he jolly well pleased. And it was true, too. I gave him the ivory. What did I care! But I didn't clear out. No, no. I couldn't leave him. I had to be careful, of course, till we got friendly again for a time.'" (3.4)

It looks like the harlequin has gone a little crazy, too, sticking to Kurtz even though Kurtz threatened to kill him for ivory. Don't know about you, but we prefer our friends not to be homicidal maniacs.

The Harlequin

Quote 8

[The harlequin]: "'He [Kurtz] made me see things—things.'" (3.2)

We have to ask: did Kurtz happen to pass along any pharmaceuticals, too? Because if he's making the harlequin "see things" (unnamed things) just with words—that's pretty crazy. In all senses of the word.