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Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

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Published by Isti Maisaroh
A group of men are aboard an English ship that is sitting on the Thames. The group includes a Lawyer, an Accountant, a Company Director/Captain, and a man without a specific profession who is named Marlow. The narrator appears to be another unnamed guest on the ship. While they are loitering about, waiting for the wind to pick up so that they might resume their voyage, Marlow begins to speak about London and Europe as some of the darkest places on earth. The narrator and other guests do not seem to regard him with much respect. Marlow is a stationary man, very unusual for a seaman. The others do not understand him because he does not fit into a neat category in the same manner that the others do. He mentions colonization and says that carving the earth into prizes or pieces is not something to examine too closely because it is an atrocity. He then begins to narrate a personal experience in Africa, which led him to become a freshwater sailor and gave him a terrible glimpse of colonization. With the exception of two or three small paragraphs, the perspective shifts to Marlow, who becomes the main narrator for the rest of the novel.

Marlow has always had a passion for travel and exploration. Maps are an obsession of his. Marlow decides he wants nothing more than to be the skipper of a steamship that travels up and down a river in Africa. His aunt has a connection in the Administration Department of a seafaring and exploration company that gathers ivory, and she manages to get Marlow an appointment. He replaces a captain who was killed in a skirmish with the natives. When Marlow arrives at the company office, the atmosphere is extremely dim and foreboding. He feels as if everyone is looking at him pityingly. The doctor who performs his physical asks if there is a history of insanity in Marlow's family. He tells Marlow that nothing could persuade him to join the Company down in the Congo. This puzzles Marlow, but he does not think much of it. The next day he embarks on a one-month journey to the primary Company station. The African shores that he observes look anything but welcoming. They are dark and rather desolate, in spite of the flurry of human activity around them. When he arrives, Marlow learns that a company member recently committed suicide. There are multitudes of chain-gang types, who all look at him with vacant expressions. A young boy approaches Marlow, looking very empty. Marlow can do nothing but offer him some ship biscuits. He is very relieved to leave the boy behind as he comes across a very well-dressed man who is the picture of respectability and elegance. They introduce themselves: he is the Chief Accountant of the Company. Marlow befriends this man and frequently spends time in his hut while the Accountant goes over the accounts. After ten days of observing the Chief Accountant's ill temper, Marlow departs for his 200-mile journey into the interior of the Congo, where he will work for a station run by a man named Kurtz.
A group of men are aboard an English ship that is sitting on the Thames. The group includes a Lawyer, an Accountant, a Company Director/Captain, and a man without a specific profession who is named Marlow. The narrator appears to be another unnamed guest on the ship. While they are loitering about, waiting for the wind to pick up so that they might resume their voyage, Marlow begins to speak about London and Europe as some of the darkest places on earth. The narrator and other guests do not seem to regard him with much respect. Marlow is a stationary man, very unusual for a seaman. The others do not understand him because he does not fit into a neat category in the same manner that the others do. He mentions colonization and says that carving the earth into prizes or pieces is not something to examine too closely because it is an atrocity. He then begins to narrate a personal experience in Africa, which led him to become a freshwater sailor and gave him a terrible glimpse of colonization. With the exception of two or three small paragraphs, the perspective shifts to Marlow, who becomes the main narrator for the rest of the novel.

Marlow has always had a passion for travel and exploration. Maps are an obsession of his. Marlow decides he wants nothing more than to be the skipper of a steamship that travels up and down a river in Africa. His aunt has a connection in the Administration Department of a seafaring and exploration company that gathers ivory, and she manages to get Marlow an appointment. He replaces a captain who was killed in a skirmish with the natives. When Marlow arrives at the company office, the atmosphere is extremely dim and foreboding. He feels as if everyone is looking at him pityingly. The doctor who performs his physical asks if there is a history of insanity in Marlow's family. He tells Marlow that nothing could persuade him to join the Company down in the Congo. This puzzles Marlow, but he does not think much of it. The next day he embarks on a one-month journey to the primary Company station. The African shores that he observes look anything but welcoming. They are dark and rather desolate, in spite of the flurry of human activity around them. When he arrives, Marlow learns that a company member recently committed suicide. There are multitudes of chain-gang types, who all look at him with vacant expressions. A young boy approaches Marlow, looking very empty. Marlow can do nothing but offer him some ship biscuits. He is very relieved to leave the boy behind as he comes across a very well-dressed man who is the picture of respectability and elegance. They introduce themselves: he is the Chief Accountant of the Company. Marlow befriends this man and frequently spends time in his hut while the Accountant goes over the accounts. After ten days of observing the Chief Accountant's ill temper, Marlow departs for his 200-mile journey into the interior of the Congo, where he will work for a station run by a man named Kurtz.

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Published by: Isti Maisaroh on Jan 11, 2011
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Heart of Darkness
 Joseph Conrad
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I
The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest. The flood hadmade, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound downthe river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide.The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us likethe beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offingthe sea and the sky were welded together without a joint,and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the bargesdrifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in redclusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnishedsprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to seain vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend,and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournfulgloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and thegreatest, town on earth.The Director of Companies was our captain and our host. We four affectionately watched his back as he stoodin the bows looking to seaward. On the whole river therewas nothing that looked half so nautical. He resembled apilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified. Itwas difficult to realize his work was not out there in the
 
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162luminous estuary, but behind him, within the broodinggloom.Between us there was, as I have already saidsomewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it hadthe effect of making us tolerant of each other’s yarns—andeven convictions. The Lawyer—the best of old fellows— had, because of his many years and many virtues, the onlycushion on deck, and was lying on the only rug. TheAccountant had brought out already a box of dominoes,and was toying architecturally with the bones. Marlow satcross-legged right aft, leaning against the mizzen-mast. Hehad sunken cheeks, a yellow complexion, a straight back,an ascetic aspect, and, with his arms dropped, the palms of hands outwards, resembled an idol. The director, satisfiedthe anchor had good hold, made his way aft and sat downamongst us. We exchanged a few words lazily. Afterwardsthere was silence on board the yacht. For some reason or other we did not begin that game of dominoes. We feltmeditative, and fit for nothing but placid staring. The daywas ending in a serenity of still and exquisite brilliance.The water shone pacifically; the sky, without a speck, wasa benign immensity of unstained light; the very mist onthe Essex marsh was like a gauzy and radiant fabric, hung
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