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English Heart of Darkness Test
Terms in this set (94)
personifies companies' goals and methods, clothes are spotless
useless worker in crew at Central Station
natives who work on ship with Marlow
interested in effects of jungle on European minds
The district of the Congo
where most of setting takes place, uncivilized, "the heart of darkness"
Joseph Conrad (author)
Polish, British writer, influenced by his travels over sea and around world; looked at how people dealt with the effects of stress
see different people (natives, Russians) along way, The Nellie
narrator remains anonymous; frame narrative
russian freelance trader who meets Kurtz in the jungle
native that dies on the boat by a spear
symbol of savagery of human nature
really sick at end of story; major ivory trader; good at job
his fiancé, in Europe. dressed all in black (mourning), Marlow lies to her about Kurtz' last words
dresses in bright colors, draped in jewelry, native
works out of Central Station and oversees companies' activities in Congo; cause for wreck of steamboat
used as symbol to show that possessions tend to take on the character of the owner; native; classify him as overfed, different from other natives
main protagonist; shocked by what he saw throughout the story
another seaman, never named
the Europeans at the Central Station, wanted the chance to go out on Congo River to make money from the Ivory they were collecting
person with sounder morals will not take the ivory
Snake-like description (Congo)
Marlow remembers the importance of maps when he was a child, remembers a river in Africa "snake uncoiled", evil river leading to no good
foreshadowing strange things will happen; first captain to first station
Describe in detail the setting where the story begins.
mouth of the River Thames, wind has died, tide is still going out, dusk, bright lights on shore
Who is the narrator of the story?
an unnamed sailor on the Nellie
Describe Marlow's physical appearance.
like an idol because of the way he is sitting
The narrator describes the recent history of the Thames. What are some of the activities of the men who have sailed out, from the mouth of the river?
war, adventures, sought wealth, found wealth raiding colonies, questionable trading practices
What effect does Conrad achieve by alluding to the pirates Francis Drake and John Franklin?
explored the world, all sought wealth
What are the Golden Hind, the Erebus and the Terror?
golden hind was sir francis drakes' ship. the erebus and the terror were sir john franklin's ships
How is Marlow different from typical seamen?
wanderer seeking to learn more about the world and human nature
What technique does Conrad start using once Marlow begins to speak?
a story-within-a story
What simile does Conrad use for the mighty river that Marlow wants to explore?
a great snake
How does Marlow's aunt help him get the appointment as river steamboat captain?
knew the wife of a high company official
What are the steps in the process that begins Marlow's employment with the Company?
interviewed briefly by a secretary, signs some documents, physical examination
The city and the Company are never given names in the story. How does this affect the reader's experience of the story?
universal quality to the story and that the behavior of colonialists is the same everywhere
As he travels on a French steamer to his new post, Marlow observes a French warship firing at the coastline. What does this scene suggest about what the rest of the story will entail?
low regard for human life, foreshadows the inability of the Europeans to deal effectively with the wilderness and its inhabitants
When he arrives, what things does Marlow see on his walk to the first station?
an overturned railroad engine, animal carcasses, broken, rusted machinery, chained prisoners, natives dying, hears explosions
Why does Marlow call the chief accountant a "miracle"?
perfectly dressed in spite of the heat and the decaying station around him
What does Marlow learn about Kurtz from the accountant?
kurtz is in charge of an important trading post and sends in more ivory than all the other agents combined; important position, remarkable person
How does Marlow get from the first station to the Central Station?
caravan of sixty people
What does Marlow learn about his steamboat when he arrives?
steamboat has sunk to the bottom of the river
How does Marlow describe the general manager at the Central Station?
not particularly good at his job, blessed with good health
What does Marlow like about his hard work repairing the steamboat?
learned about the reality of himself and what he can accomplish, which no other person can really understand
How is Eldorado Exploring Expedition contrast to Marlow's mission with the steamboat?
The Expedition has fancy equipment but no foresight, marlow has a steamboat in poor condition with a difficult crew but has a clear purpose
What is Conrad suggesting by calling the rival company the "Eldorado" expedition?
that the mercenary motives of the explorers of the Eldorado Exploring Expedition will lead them to ruin
What does Marlow need to complete the repairs on the steamboat and why is this so frustrating to him?
What rhetorical device is illustrated when Marlow says of the Eldorado Expedition, that they were "reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage"?
Heart of Darkness was originally published in three installments. On what suspenseful note does Conrad end this first installment?
explorer-traders from the Eldorado exploring expedition have arrived and create a tense contrast with Marlow and his crew; marlow wondering about the success of Kurtz' moral crusade
On what suspenseful note does this second installment begin?
Marlow overhears another conversation about Kurtz
What does Marlow learn when he overhears the station manager talking to his uncle?
kurtz has been very ill, trading post being a center, improving the lives of the natives
What is significant about the image Marlow begins to develop of Kurtz?
a lone white man, sitting in the center of a canoe paddled by four Africans, turning his back on civilization, foreshadowing the type of man marlow will encounter
What is the prevailing metaphor Marlow uses to describe traveling up the river?
traveling back into prehistory
How do the cannibals help Marlow?
help push the steamboat off sandbars when it gets stuck
What metaphor is used for the steamboat as it moves up the river?
How is the steamboat attacked?
shower of arrows
Who is the only person to die and how is he killed?
the helmsman is killed by a spear thrust into his side
How does Marlow frighten the natives and stop the attack?
blows the steam whistle on the boat several times
Why does Marlow dispose of the helmsman's body so quickly?
afraid the cannibals on crew will eat it
What mysterious book does Marlow find at a station fifty miles below Kurtz's station?
the finer points of seamanship
Describe the man who greets Marlow at the Inner Station.
young Russian wearing bizarre clothes, no sense of the possible danger, advocate of Kurtz, adventure
Marlow thought there were notes written in code in the book he found. What was this "cipher"?
Why do the surroundings seem prehistoric to Marlow?
this land has not been tamed by man, and its inhabitants behave in unfamiliar ways
The steamboat anchors for the night eight miles below Kurtz's station. What troubling events happen in the morning?
surrounded by an impenetrable white fog, hear the eerie sounds of the natives
What does Marlow mean when he says that women must be helped to "stay in that beautiful world of their own"( p. 47)?
their idealism and morals will help keep the world of men from getting worse
Kurtz wrote a pamphlet for what organization?
International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs
What surprising sentence did Kurtz add to his pamphlet long after he wrote it? What might have motivated him to write it?
"Exterminate all the brutes"; belief that what he attempted initially was a hopeless cause
On what suspenseful note does Conrad end the second installment of the novel?
mystery of why the natives attacked Marlow's boat, how Mr. Kurtz enlarged the Russian's mind, purpose of the notes in the margins, what lies farther upriver
The Russian says, "I had gone so far that I don't know how I'll ever get back" (p. 53). What does this mean literally and symbolically?
literally= gone so far up the river and doesn't know how he can get back
symbolically= he can never adjust to normal civilized behavior again
When Marlow asks what Kurtz had traded for ivory, what does the Russian reply?
coerced natives into giving him ivory
Why did Kurtz threaten to shoot the young Russian?
wanted small amount of ivory
What does the Russian tell Marlow about Kurtz's recent activities?
What does Marlow suddenly realize about the knobs on the posts by the building and the symbolic meaning they may have?
symbols of power, consisting of actual human heads
As Marlow talks with the Russian, a group of men suddenly appears with a stretcher. What happens next?
group of natives appear with spears and bows, seems to threaten the natives and they leave
Describe the physical appearance of the woman who walks up along the river and describe what she does.
wearing striped and fringed cloth and brass circlets on her forearms and lower legs, stands on the shore, raises her arms, and leaves
When Kurtz is very ill, Marlow says that the manager "considered it necessary to sigh, but neglected to be consistently sorrowful" (p. 59) What does he mean?
suggesting the manager knows it is appropriate that he show some concern for the sick man, but he doesn't mean it
Who does the Russian say was responsible for the attack on the steamboat?
What does the Russian take with him when he departs?
shows, cartridges, tobacco
What does Marlow do when he discovers that Kurtz has left his sickbed?
follows kurtz's trail, threatens kurtz with physical violence
Why does Marlow believe Kurtz's soul has gone mad?
length of time kurtz has been in wilderness
Why don't the pilgrims want Marlow to blow the steamboat whistle as they take Kurtz and the ivory away?
frighten natives away, and they hoped to shoot them
Marlow believes that the dark wilderness has cast a spell over Kurtz. What is the effect of this spell?
awakened brutal instincts and primitive passions
What shakes Kurtz's confidence in returning to a glorious welcome in Europe?
the delay when the ship stops for repairs makes him realize he may not live long enough
What does Kurtz entrust to Marlow?
Why does Marlow consider Kurtz's last words a victory?
what he has become, what the universe is really like
In what way does Marlow come to consider Kurtz a remarkable man? How does Marlow feel he compares to Kurtz?
learned something from his life; when marlow faced death he did not say anything because he did not know how to say it
What is the significance of Kurtz' dying words?
kurtz' realization that there is no hope of redemption, idealistic goals where themselves vain, depth of darkness in human heart
What was the nature of Kurtz' idealism that the Intended still reveres?
kurtz learns that even the civilized saviors are not any different from the savages they attempt to save
Explain what Marlow means when he says, "I have wrestled with death"
been so sick that he almost died
Who are the three visitors who try to get Kurtz's papers from Marlow when he returns to Europe?
company official, cousin, journalist
What are the eerie physical details associated with the Intended and her drawing room?
a cold and monumental fireplace, a piano like a sarcophagus, the ashy halo of the Intended's hair and her luminous forehead
What does the Intended means when she says, "He drew men towards him by what was best in them"
believes kurtz was such a good, moral man that he inspired others to be like him
When the Intended extends her arms as if after a retreating figure, what does Marlow think of and why?
native woman who held same pose
When the Intended asks about Kurtz's last words, what does Marlow say and why?
says last words were the intended's name because he knows that the lie will be comforting to her
This novel was first published in serialized installments. How do the ends of Chapters One and Two leave the reader eager for the next installment
mystery of kurtz
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