Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Heart of darkness post III

I am on holiday this week updating this from a field in Dorset so I am keeping the posts shortish so I don't annoy the family or run out of battery.

Bullet points from pages 81 - 121

* After the boat is attacked everyone assumes the same people would have killed Kurtz, but they carry on up stream anyway

* When they find Kurtz he has tons of ivory and is clearly unhinged and has entered the heart of darkness to get those ivory stocks

* Kurtz gives Marlow his confidential papers and likes him because he is half English but also because he probably identifies that Marlow is not a company man either

*Marlow meets a Russian - the owner of the abandoned house earlier up stream - who is in awe of Kurtz and provides details of how he existed and his long trips into the woods with his tribe of followers to get more ivory

* Marlow warns him of the intention to bring an end to Kurtz's reign and the Russian leaves

* They get Kurtz onto the boat, he needs to be carried because he is ill, and as they head back down to the central staton the life ebbs out of him

* Kurtz's last words, heard by Marlow alone, are "the horror, the horror", after analysing them Marlow takes it as an indication that he had found peace with himself and his actions

* In the end Marlow meet's Kurtz's fiance, who is decribed as being swathed in darkness, apart from her forehead, and he tells her that the last thing Kurtz said was her name

* The story ends by cutting back to the Thames with the other narrative voice making the observation that the sea flows off into the heart of darkness

Light and darkness, both physical and spiritual are key to the book, the is the instant comment I would make but I will do a full review later in the week.

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