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ENGA10H3 (5)

Heart of Darkness FULL Summary

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Garry Leonard

Heart of Darkness Part I • Nellie is the ship where the 5 men were avoiding a flood • There are five men on board ○ Accountant, Director of Companies, the Lawyer, Marlow and the narrator • Marlow begins telling a story about his past • A might big river ○ “darkest place on earth” • Dreamt of exploring the white spots on the map ○ These were places on the map that were unexplored • He wanted a steamboat ○ His aunt had connections • Fresleven, a Dane, was beating a black man, the chief, at a village ○ The chief’s son stabbed him and he died ○ Marlow was his replacement ○ The village was deserted • Marlow visits the Company’s office ○ He entered a room with two women knitting, one fat and one slim ○ One of them admits him to the waiting room ○ He signed a document not to disclose any trade secrets • “knitting black wool while guarding the door of Darkness” • He visited the doctor ○ Doctor measured his skull and took his pulse ○ “the changes take place inside you” ○ The doctor measures for the interest of science and he never sees a patient if they ever come back ○ His interest of science is to give the Belgian’s an advantage in colonial situations • He went to say goodbye to his aunt ○ He knew the company ran for profit ○ Had a queer feeling that he was about to set off to the center of the earth • Came across a French ship shelling the bush ○ There was a camp of natives, “enemies” ○ The island really had no one on it • At the mouth of the congo river, he boards another steamer ○ The captain was Swedish ○ The captain told him a Swede had hanged himself on the way there • He arrived at the Company’s office ○ Full of rusted and decaying machine ○ He sees a cliff being blasted for no reason ○ Group of black prisoners being watched over by a wwhite man with a rifle • Found a place of black figures dying ○ Offered them a biscuit from the Swede ○ Saw a piece of white European yarn and wondered what it meant • Met the chief accountant • Mr. Kurtz was a first class agent ○ In charge of a trading post for ivory • His steamer was sunk by stones on the bottom by the previous volunteer captain • General health was a source of power, surviving several seasons out on the Congo river ○ The manager survived all the seasons he was put on  Authority was from his resistance to tropical disease • The manager was told that Mr. Kurtz was ill • He must recover the ship and repair it ○ Took three months ○ A fire started one day  A black man was beaten and blamed • Overheard the manager and the brickmaker ○ “Take advantage of this unfortunate accident” and Kurtz ○ Went back to the brickmaker’s house  Looked much nicer than any other house he had been to  He was being pumped by the brickmaker  There was a painting of a draped and blind folded women on the wall • Painted by Mr. Kurtz; chief of inner station  The brickmaker wanted to be assistant manager but Mr. Kurtz lower his chances • He hates lying the most • He ordered rivets which were to come in three weeks ○ Does not arrive, instead, the Eldorado Exploring Expedition arrives  Lead by the manager’s uncle ○ The ship never gets repaired Part II • Manager complains that Kurtz had come to try to take over his position ○ Kurtz had sent down a load of ivory one day but turned back after going 300 miles down the river ○ There was a letter to the manager  Told the manger to stop sending him incompetent men and that he was very ill ○ The manager’s uncle suggests that the tropical climate may take care of Kurtz ○ There was a wandering Russian trader  His uncle said to hang him since no one will challenge his authority ○ The Eldorado Expedition then leaves and disappears into the wilderness • Marlow is on the steamboat with the manager and several pilgrims ○ Cannibals refer to the natives ○ Marlow needs to keep the boat afloat by watching for low waters and wood for the steamer • “That should the water in that transparent thing disappear, the evil spirit inside the boiler would get angry through the greatness of his thirst, and take a terrible vengeance” ○ that was what the savage at the bottom running the boiler knew • Fifty miles away from the inner station ○ he found wood and a message ○ “Wood for you. Hurry Up. Approach cautiously” • Found a book “An Inquiry into some points of Seamanship” inside a hut ○ Manager concludes it is the Russian trader • Two days after finding the hut ○ They estimate 8 miles away from Inner Station ○ Manager tells them to wait while Marlow wanted to press on ○ Night was strangely silent and dawn brought about fog • They heard a very loud cry and then it suddenly disappeared ○ The pilgrim wanted to catch them and eat them  Their hippo meat was rotten so they were hungry  They were given 3 pieces of brass each week as their salary ○ The whites are afraid and the blacks are alerted  Marlow wonders why the blacks haven’t eaten the whites yet; outnumbered 30 to 5 • The manager was the type to preserve his appearances ○ He wished that Kurtz would be alive when they got there ○ The manager authorized Marlow to take any risk ○ Marlow did not think they would attack since the cry did not sound like it  The thought of an attack was purely defensive and for one’s own safety • Chose western passage between the two paths available ○ There were arrows being shot at them ○ The pilgrims fired back into the bushes ○ Th
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