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Terms in this set (162)
Who is the author of Heart of Darkness?
Why is it amazing that Conrad could write a novel this well?
english was his third language
During what era did Conrad right in?
fin de siècle (in France, leaving thé Victorian era, coming into the Impressionism/Modern era)
What kind of novel is HOD?
a novela or mini novel
What did Conrad hate the most?
Why did Conrad hate the government?
he saw his father arrested and taken away; went to live in France after that
What was conrad's dream?
to become a sailor
How did Conrad achieve his dream?
he moved to Marseilles and became a sailor
What are the techniques Conrad uses in his novel?
frame narration, fragmented perspective, flashbacks, flash forwards, psychologically laden symbolism
story within a story
What are the stories within the stories in HOD?
England to Belgium to the Congo
What are the effects of Conrad's literary techniques?
disrupts chronology, render meaning indeterminate, revel unconscious drives, blur boundaries between civilization and barbarism, and cast in doubt certainties
an individual not understanding or getting his surroundings
alienation of characters
How is the character Marlow related to an actual person?
Christopher Marlo wrote Doctor Foust which talks about the devil gaining all of the knowledge while on Earth then giving his soul when he dies
Where does HOD open?
on the Thames during the height of the British/Dutch empire
Who does HOD attack?
King Leopold I of Belgium
What was Belgium making money on from the Congo?
What city is the Sepulchered City?
Why does Marlow go to the Congo?
he needs money and a job
What are the three parts to the soul, as developed by Freud?
id, ego, super ego
the dark side of the human nature
the shadow or id
What are the two journeys in HOD?
literal journey on a boat to Africa; journey into the hidden self (both are horrible but self-restorative at the same time)
What are the three points to Marlow's journey?
spatial, temporal, psychic
What is Marlow's spatial journey?
into the African Congo
What is Marlow/s temporal journey?
back to origins of men, connected with time
What is Marlow's psychic journey?
to roots of his own consciousness
the feminine soul of the wild
What is the name of the cruising yawl and on what river is she at anchor?
the Nelly and on the Thames
Who is identified as the captain of the boat?
the Director of Companies
What unites the men on this ship?
Who are the other men on board the yawl?
lawyer, accountant, Marlow
Describe Marlow. How does his posture create a contrast with the other men on the boat?
he looks like a sitting buddha or "idol"; sunken cheeks; yellow complexion; straight back
Who temporarily steers the steamboat after the altercation with the natives on shore?
the pilgrim in the pink pajamas
Why do Marlow's feet become wet?
he is standing in the native's blood
What is Kurt'z most esteemed talent, in Marlow's view?
his ability to talk
Who said it, "My ivory. My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my..."
What is one of Kurtz's achievements?
he's written a 17 page pamphlet
What happens to the helmsman in the end?
he is shot by one of the flying arrows
Why have the natives retreated during the altercation with the steamboat?
Marlow has pulled the whistle on the steamboat
The first man Marlow talks to at the Inner Station is ____
a young man who is dressed like a harlequin
Who said it? "I tell you, this man has enlarged my mind."
What is the tone of the novel?
Describe the outer station
they have machinery, there are lots of civilized natives, the Chief Accountant lives here, they are here 10 days; this is when Marlow learns of Kurtz
How many miles is it from the outer station to the central station?
Describe the central station
everyone tells "practical lies;" the manager lives here; Marlow learns more about Kurtz; this is part 2 of the book
How many miles is the central station from the inner station?
How many miles are Marlow and his crew in the fog?
Where does part 3 take place?
What happens in the inner station>
confrontation, climax, kurtz dies
What happens after the inner station?
Marlow returns, we get to know the Intended
What Marlow asks what kurtz had traded for ivory, what does the Russian reply?
he attacked the country because he didn't have anything to trade with
Why did Kurtz threaten to shoot the young Russian?
the young russian wouldn't immediately give Kurtz the small stash of ivory that he had
What does the Russian tell Marlow about Kurtz's recent activities?
Kurtz has actually participated in native activities like getting natives to worship him like a God
What does Marlow suddenly realize about the knobs on the posts by the building and the symbolic meaning they have?
they are the skulls of people who have been murdered (they are rebels) and they serve as a warning
As Marlow talks with the Russian, a group of men suddenly appear with a stretcher. What happens next?
Marlow realizes that it is Kurtz that is on the stretcher because he is deathly ill
Describe the physical appearance of the woman who walks up along the river and describe what she does
the woman had a lot of confidence; she was proud, pretty, and fancy; she was dressed in brass leggings in gloves; her hair looked like it was braided to resemble a brass helmet
Who does the Russian say was responsible for the attack on the steamboat?
What does the Russian take with him when he departs?
some bullets and shoes
What does Marlow do when he discovers Kurtz has left his sickbed?
he obviously goes and looks for him
Why does Marlow believe Kurtz's soul has gone mad?
he got caught up in the ivory and was too focused on always making a profit; he had no restraint when it came to ivory
Why don't the pilgrims want Marlow to blow the steamboat whistle as they take Kurtz and the ivory away?
it frightens the natives
Marlow believes that the dark wilderness has cast a spell over Kurtz. What is the effect of this spell?
the magic spell makes Kurtz's body look like it is made of ivory. This is probably meant to conjure up the same image as in part 2 when Kurtz's bald head was compared to the smoothness of the ivory
What shakes Kurtz's confidence in returning to a glorious welcome in europe>
his boat fails and breaks down
What does kurtz entrust to Marlow?
his memory and reputation
Why does Marlow consider Kurtz's last words a victory>
he considered them a victory because he realizes that Kurtz wasn't a fool and didn't die that way. He still had his morals but that also made his life a terrible one to live
In what way does Marlow come to consider Kurtz a remarkable man? How does Marlow feel he compares to Kurtz?
he never fails to speak up. Marlow really wants to have the impression Kurtz had from when he talked, and he hopes to be able to sum his life up in just a few short words
What is the significance of Kurtz's dying words?
his dying words showed how much he messed up and how messed up his life had become
What was the nature of Kurtz's idealism that the Intended still reveres? How might this explain the significance of his final words?
Kurtz actually didn't make a lot of money, and his mistress' family did not approve of him
Who are the three visitors who try to get Kurtz's papers from Marlow when he returns to Europe?
the three visitors are Marlow's dousing, a journalist, and a person from the company
What are the eerie physical details associated with the Intended and her drawing room?
the Intended looked like she was about to die and that she was crying but no tears were being produced
When the Intended extends her arms as if after a retreating figure, what does Marlow think of and why?
Marlow immediately thinks of Kurtz's mistress who extended her arms when she left the jungle
When the Intended asks about Kurtz's last words, what does Marlow say and why?
Marlow says her name in order to give her closure about Kurtz's death
What gives Marlow a first solid glimpse of Kurtz?
when the uncle's manager is talking about him with another guy on the steamboat; they did not know that Marlow was there; the manager is also with the uncle
Who has said, "Each station should be like a beacon on the road towards better things, a centre for trade of course, but also for humanizing, improving, instructing."
Who are the "less valuable animals" on the Eldorado Exploring Expedition?
the expedition people
How long does it take Marlow to make his way from the Central Station to inner station?
What saves Marlow from being overly preoccupied by the silent jungle?
his job as captain of the steamboat keeps him sane
What fades as Marlow attends to the details of safe navigation?
Who accompanies Marlow on his steamer?
the congolese people and the pilgrims
What have the cannibals brought on board for food?
rotten hippo meat and purple dough that looks like cookies
What does Marlow hear at night?
the natives screaming and yelling and them beating drums
Although Marlow says the sudden glimpses of dancing and yelling natives on shore seems mysterious and incomprehensible, to what does he eventually admit?
the natives are more of men than the pilgrims
How does Marlow refer to his "voice"?
he said his voice can be silenced for neither good nor bad
Whom does Marlow somewhat ironically refer to an "improved specimen"?
Fifty miles below the Inner Station, Marlow comes upon a hut of reeds. What does he discover there?
a pile of wood and a note that says, "Hurry up. wood for you. Approach with caution."
What book does Marlow find in the hut? What odes Marlow admire about the book and its author? Whom does the manager think owns the book?
an Inquiry into some Points of Semanship by Towser (an English man)
When Marlow decides to pay out the anchor, what do the men on the steamer suddenly hear? How do the pilgrims on board the steamer react? How dod the cannibals on board react to the outcry in the jungle? Why does Marlow think the cannibals' particular interest in the natives on shore a reasonable one? What amazes Marlow?
They hear the native's moans and tellings, the white people are distraught and scared while the natives are more attentive and collected. Marlow seems amazed that the natives on board hadn't resorted to eating the White people from sheer hunger
What restrains the cannibals?
they restrain themselves
Why does Marlow doubt that the natives on shore will attack his steamer?
the fog was really thick, they would get lost if they attacked, and their cries were sorrowful
Who is the helmsman of Marlow's steamer?
an athletic man that belongs to a coast tribe and who was educated by Marlow's predecessor
What happens to the pole man at the front of the boat and what are the sticks Marlow sees flying about?
he drops down to the floor of the boat without moving the pole; he doesn't move from this position; the sticks are arrows flying down on the steamboat
How do the pilgrims respond to the attack?
they aim at the forest with their guns and shoot
Although Marlow has ordered the helmsman to concentrate on steering the steamer, what does the helmsman eventually do instead? What happens to the helmsman?
When he is standing by the window, he gets hit in the side by a spear and begins to bleed out
What finally scares the attacking natives off?
Marlow pulling the whistle
As the helmsman dies, what does Marlow see on his face?
Why does Marlow throw his shoes overboard?
they are soaked in the blood of the helmsman
With respect to Kurtz, to what has Marlow looked forward the most?
hearing him talk
Marlow refers to a woman whom Kurtz refers to as my intended. What does Kurtz mean by this phrase?
I think it means it's the woman that he wants to marry, he wants her to be his wife
What makes Marlow "creepy all over?"
the reflection of the powers of darkness
In the solitude of the wilderness, what finally must a human being rely upon?
faithfulness and strength
What is Kurtz's family heritage? What is the name of the society that has asked Kurtz to write a report? How well-written is Kurtz's report? According to Kurtz's report, how must most Europeans appear to the natives? What is Kurtz's later, ominous postscript to the report?
mom was half english and dad was half french, the international society for the suppression of savages, eloquent, appear as supernatural beings at first glance, they exterminate all the brutes
Describe Marlow's feelings for his helmsman
What does Marlow see near the decaying house on the summit?
six slim posts with ornamented balls on top
Of what does the man on shore remind Marlow and why?
a harlequin because of his patches
What does he say about Kurtz?
that he has survived
Why have the natives attacked Marlow's boat before he has reached the Inner Station?
they don't want him to leave
Why does the Russian admire Kurtz?
because of Kurtz's pamphlet
What is the attitude of the narrator to the river Thames on page 27?
The speaker seems reverent of the importance of the river to all of the great and important things the river has transported and carried
What is Marlow's first comment about the Thames River and England itself? How does it contrast with the narrator's view?
Marlow says that the river is one of the darkest places on Earth. It's contrasted completely with what the narrator thinks, as the narrator sees the river as beautiful
How does Marlow differ from the typical soldier?
He is described as a seamen, that wanders, instead of one that leads a sedentary lifestyle
What period of time does Marlow recall?
the times when the Romans first came, 1900 years ago; England would have seemed like a haven for barbarians and uncivilized people with little money and food
According to Marlow, how would England have seemed to a Roman commander? What pose has Marlow assumed as he speaks? What odes this pose imply?
HE had the pose of a Buddha, those it imply that he is a Buddha? Or maybe it implies that he is trying to come off as omniscient
What, according to Marlow, makes the difference between the ancient Romans and the late nineteenth century British imperialist?
The Romans weren't colonialists, they were conquerors, unlike the English. the Romans cared about brute force only
In what regions has Marlow sailed before he gets his new posting?
India, Pacific Oceans, China, the East
The place on Earth which beckons to Marlow is Africa. What simile does Marlow use to describe his fascination with one particularly large river in the middle of Africa? What does this simile suggest?
"It became a place of darkness." I think it suggests the dark, unforeseeable experience that can be applied to life. He says it "fascinates him as a bird fascinated a snake."
How did marrow go about getting a job with this firm?
he worried the men into giving him a position
Marlow is hired to replace a captain who has died. How has he died and what is odd about his death?
Fresleven was the captain, and he was killed in a fight with Africans. It turns out the misunderstanding was about two black hens
Of what does the city of Brussels remind Marlow?
Whom does Marlow see when he enters the offices of the company?
two women knitting, one fat and one skinny
Why does Marlow feel uneasy after meeting the "great man himself?"
He wasn't used to the big type of ceremonies that were going on, and he felt that they were ominous
What is unsettling for marrow about his visit to the doctor?
the unkempt nature of the doctor's appearance, the doctor's comments about his choice to go out there
What final advice does the doctor give Marlow?
he says that before anything, one must keep calm
What is Marlow's attitude to his aunt and women in general?
he calls his aunt an excellent woman, and seems to really enjoy women (but later on he starts to agree with Kurtz who calls them ignorant and foolish)
When marrow leaves his aunt's house, what impression does he have of his imminent journey to Africa?
He's scared to take the leap because he knows how different and eye-opening it will be
What does the French steamer drop off on its way down the African west coast?
the sole purpose of landing soldiers and customhouse officers
As the French steamer makes its way down the cost, what keeps Marlow "away from the truth of things"?
the monotony of the job, transporting passengers, soldiers and officers
What seems ludicrous to Marlow about the French man of war anchored off the coast?
that the people on the boat were firing at it assuming that "natives" were on it
The French steamer drops Marlow off at the mouth of the "big river", the Congo where the Belgians have their central place of government. Where will Marlow's real work begin?
a place 30 miles up from the mouth
Of what unusual event does the Swedish captain make mention?
a fellow swede had to be let down because he had hung himself
What seems to be the purpose for the blasting of the cliff?
the Belgians are building a railroad
Describe the criminals which Marlow sees
they are 6 black men who are very thin and angry. They are tied to gather by chains on the arms and around their necks. Their eyes bulge from madness
To whom does Marlow ironically refer to as "one of the reclaimed?"
the one with the gun that's in control of the prisoners
Dismayed by what he sees, Marlow seeks refuge in a shady clump of trees. What does he find here?
a loud rushing area of rapids with a lot of black people
What does Marlow offer to the black man with a bit of white yarn around his neck? Why does he do so?
He gives him a the remaining biscuit from his pocket that the Swede gave him, because he didn't know what else to do
Who is the white man Marlow meets when he walks quickly towards the station?
the company's chief accountant
Why is this white man unusual? Why does Marlow respect this man to some degree?
He was very well dressed with such a professional outward appearance. His hair was brushed and oiled. His cuffs were starched, and even after being in Africa for a long time, he still kept up respect
How long does Marlow wait in this station?
How does the accountant describe Mr. Kurtz?
He says he's a first class agent, that he's remarkable, and that he sees Marlow's disappointment
Why does the accountant feel about the natives?
he hates them to death
When Marlow leaves this station for the Central Station, how many men are with him and how long is the journey to be?
has 60 men with him and it's a 200 mile trek
Marlow travels toward the Central Station, what two aspects of sound does he encounter?
silence and the sound of beating drums
A heavy white man accompanies Marlow on his journey but he continually must be carried by porters. Why has he come to this place with this kind of climate?
The man came to make money
How many days does it take for Marlow to arrive at the Central Station?
What startling news greets Marlow as soon as he arrives at the Central Station?
Marlow gets word that his steamer is at the bottom of the river
When Marlow meets the general manager of the Central Station, what feeling does the manager inspire in Marlow?
the general manager inspired uneasiness
Why has the manager won and held his position as manager?
He was never sick
Who controls the manager?
What opinion of Kurtz does the manager offer?
he thinks he's one of the best agents in the workforce but seemed uneasy about it
How much time does the manager predict that it will take Marlow to repair the steamer and get under way?
The protagonist of Heart of Darkness. Marlow is philosophical, independent-minded, and generally skeptical of those around him. He is also a master storyteller, eloquent and able to draw his listeners into his tale. Although Marlow shares many of his fellow Europeans' prejudices, he has seen enough of the world and has encountered enough debased white men to make him skeptical of imperialism.
The chief of the Inner Station and the object of Marlow's quest. Kurtz is a man of many talents—we learn, among other things, that he is a gifted musician and a fine painter—the chief of which are his charisma and his ability to lead men. Kurtz is a man who understands the power of words, and his writings are marked by an eloquence that obscures their horrifying message. Although he remains an enigma even to Marlow, Kurtz clearly exerts a powerful influence on the people in his life. His downfall seems to be a result of his willingness to ignore the hypocritical rules that govern European colonial conduct: Kurtz has "kicked himself loose of the earth" by fraternizing excessively with the natives and not keeping up appearances; in so doing, he has become wildly successful but has also incurred the wrath of his fellow white men
The chief agent of the Company in its African territory, who runs the Central Station. He owes his success to a hardy constitution that allows him to outlive all his competitors. He is average in appearance and unremarkable in abilities, but he possesses a strange capacity to produce uneasiness in those around him, keeping everyone sufficiently unsettled for him to exert his control over them.
is a favorite of the manager and seems to be a kind of corporate spy. He never actually produces any bricks, as he is supposedly waiting for some essential element that is never delivered. He is petty and conniving and assumes that other people are too.
An efficient worker with an incredible habit of dressing up in spotless whites and keeping himself absolutely tidy despite the squalor and heat of the Outer Station, where he lives and works. He is one of the few colonials who seems to have accomplished anything: he has trained a native woman to care for his wardrobe.
The bumbling, greedy agents of the Central Station. They carry long wooden staves with them everywhere, reminding Marlow of traditional religious travelers. They all want to be appointed to a station so that they can trade for ivory and earn a commission, but none of them actually takes any effective steps toward achieving this goal. They are obsessed with keeping up a veneer of civilization and proper conduct, and are motivated entirely by self-interest. They hate the natives and treat them like animals, although in their greed and ridiculousness they appear less than human themselves
Natives hired as the crew of the steamer, a surprisingly reasonable and well-tempered bunch. Marlow respects their restraint and their calm acceptance of adversity. The leader of the group, in particular, seems to be intelligent and capable of ironic reflection upon his situation
A Russian sailor who has gone into the African interior as the trading representative of a Dutch company. He is boyish in appearance and temperament, and seems to exist wholly on the glamour of youth and the audacity of adventurousness. His brightly patched clothes remind Marlow of a harlequin. He is a devoted disciple of Kurtz's.
A young man from the coast trained by Marlow's predecessor to pilot the steamer. He is a serviceable pilot, although Marlow never comes to view him as much more than a mechanical part of the boat. He is killed when the steamer is attacked by natives hiding on the riverbanks.
A fiercely beautiful woman loaded with jewelry who appears on the shore when Marlow's steamer arrives at and leaves the Inner Station. She seems to exert an undue influence over both Kurtz and the natives around the station, and the Russian trader points her out as someone to fear. Like Kurtz, she is an enigma: she never speaks to Marlow, and he never learns anything more about her.
Kurtz's naïve and long-suffering fiancée, whom Marlow goes to visit after Kurtz's death. Her unshakable certainty about Kurtz's love for her reinforces Marlow's belief that women live in a dream world, well insulated from reality.
Marlow's doting relative, who secures him a position with the Company. She believes firmly in imperialism as a charitable activity that brings civilization and religion to suffering, simple savages. She, too, is an example for Marlow of the naïveté and illusions of women.
Marlow's predecessor as captain of the steamer. Fresleven, by all accounts a good-tempered, nonviolent man, was killed in a dispute over some hens, apparently after striking a village chief.
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