[PDF] Heart of Darkness PDF (505 KB)

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Heart of Darkness PDF
Heart of Darkness PDF
No. Of Pages: 131
PDF Size: 505 KB
Language: English
Category: Ebooks and Novels
Author: Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness Summary

During his journey up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, who is said to be an idealistic man with great skills, Marlow thinks a lot about himself. He takes a job as a riverboat captain with the company, a Belgian company that wants to trade in the Congo. As he travels to Africa and then up the Congo, Marlow sees a lot of inefficiency and violence at the stations of the company. Some of the native people in the area have been forced to work for the company, and they have been treated badly by the company’s agents. There is a stark contrast between what the white man does and the impassive and majestic jungle that surrounds him. This makes them look like tiny islands in a sea of darkness.

Marlow arrives at the Central Station, which is run by the general manager, who is a bad, shady person. In the end, he finds that his steamship has sunk. He spent a long time waiting for parts to fix it. He becomes more interested in Kurtz during this time. The manager and his favourite, the brickmaker, seem to be afraid of Kurtz as a threat to their jobs. This is what they say. Kurtz is said to be sick, which makes the time it takes to fix the ship even more costly. It takes a long time, but Marlow eventually gets the parts he needs to fix his ship. He and the manager set out with a few agents (whom Marlow calls “pilgrims” because they always carry long, wooden staves with them) and a crew of cannibals on a long, difficult journey up the river. In the dense jungle, everyone on the boat gets a little nervous, but when they see a village or hear drums, they get excited.

Marlow and his crew come across a hut with a lot of firewood and a note that says the wood is for them, but they should be careful. Soon after it has taken on the wood, the steamer is surrounded by a thick layer of fog. When the fog clears, a group of natives attacks the ship from the safety of the forest. They fire arrows at the ship from inside the forest. At the beginning of the movie, Marlow scares away the natives with the ship’s steam whistle. The African helmsman is killed in the process. Not long after, Marlow and his friends arrive at Kurtz’s inner station, expecting to find him dead. A half-crazed Russian trader, who meets them as they land, tells them that everything is fine and that he left the wood. The Russian says that Kurtz has grown in his mind and can’t be judged the same way as other people. Kurtz is thought to be a god by the natives, and he has gone on bloody raids to find ivory in the area around him. The collection of severed heads on the fence posts around the station shows that he used “methods.” There are native warriors in the forest when the pilgrims bring Kurtz out of the station house. Kurtz talks to them, and the natives run away into the woods when they hear him.

He brings Kurtz, who is sick, on board. It looks like Kurtz’s mistress, a beautiful native woman, is on the shore and looking at the ship as it sails by. They say she has caused trouble before with her power over Kurtz, but they don’t say what that was. Afterward, the Russian tells Marlow that Kurtz had wanted people to think he was dead so that they could turn back and leave him to finish his plans on his own. The Russian then leaves by canoe, afraid that the manager will be mad at him. During the night, Kurtz goes away, and Marlow goes looking for him. When he comes across him, he crawls on all fours toward the native camp. Marlow stops him and persuades him to come back to the ship, but he doesn’t want to. They set off down the river the next morning, but Kurtz’s health was quickly deteriorating. They’ll have to be careful.

As Marlow drives the ship, Kurtz talks to him. Marlow gets a packet of personal documents, including a pamphlet on how to make the savages more civilized, which ends with a scrawled note that says, “Exterminate all the brutes!” The steamer broke down, so they had to stop working to get it fixed. Kurtz dies and says his last words, “The horror! The horror!” in front of the confused Marlow. Soon after, Marlow gets sick and is very close to death. In the end, he comes back to Europe and goes to see Kurtz’s intended (his fiancée). She is still in mourning, even though Kurtz died more than a year ago. She thinks of him as a model of virtue and success. She wants to know what he said at the end. Marlow can’t bring himself to tell her the truth. Then, he tells her that Kurtz’s last word was hers.

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