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Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness


by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #16

"And from right to left along the lighted shore moved a wild and gorgeous apparition of a woman." (3.13)

The fact that this woman is described as an "apparition" suggests that Marlow does not consider women, especially this native African one, to be as fully human or as capable as men. Similar language comes up with the Intended shows up at the end of the novel—not the "wild" bit, but the "apparition" part.

Quote #17

"He [Kurtz] rose, unsteady, long, pale, indistinct, like a vapour exhaled by the earth, and swayed slightly, misty and silent before me […]." (3.27)

Kurtz is a "vapour," "misty" and insubstantial before the wholly human form of Marlow. Pro tip: eat more protein, Kurtz!

Quote #18

"He [the manager] leaned back, serene, with that peculiar smile of his sealing the unexpressed depths of his meanness." (3.44)

The manager may have feelings about Kurtz's death (we doubt it), but we'll never know: the depths of his "meanness" are locked up by his vacant smile. As expected, he shows no real emotion at the news.

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