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asami
04-23-2007, 12:56 PM
hi friends! l need your help for my article on that topic below:

Do you think Conrad's Heart of Darkness is about Marlow the saved or Kurtz the damned. Support your opinion by giving at least three quotations from the novel.

note: lve read so many articles on this novel but l couldnt find any idea on that question above... please someone help me!!

cuppajoe_9
04-23-2007, 01:55 PM
Hi asami, welcome to Lit-Net. :wave:

I wouls suggest that Darkness is not about Marlow's redemption. If you recall, the novel ends with Marlowe lying to Kutz's inteded about his last words. In Part I, Marlow says:


You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do. (49-50 in my edition, possibly a few pages earlier in yours)I think that this reveals that Marlow isn't so much 'saved' as 'not damned quite so much as Kurtz'.

Yvonne Sturgeon
04-24-2007, 03:00 PM
Yes, but also one of the very things that he hates ("a lie") is what he has to tell the Intended at the end. Therefore, is he "enlightened" by the fact that sometimes it is necessary to tell one ( a lie, that is), or has he simply become the very thing he hates..?

Yvonne Sturgeon
04-24-2007, 03:09 PM
Two very distinct characterizations of Marlow by the Narrator occur at the beginning, which is actually the end of the journey, when Marlow "sat cross-legged...the palms of hands outwards, resembl[ing] an idol." It is apparent that he has achieved a level of enlightenment b/c of his journey. Also, when the Narrator describes him as 'not typical" of a seaman, since "the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze..". Here we can know that Marlow is very aware of his surroundings, and is one who looks for the meaning in things when he sees them- not particularly a deep thinker, but a seeker of sorts. Not right away, but eventually (i.e. like a "glow" eventually clearing out the "haze")...hope this helps!:)

ysturgeon



hi friends! l need your help for my article on that topic below:

Do you think Conrad's Heart of Darkness is about Marlow the saved or Kurtz the damned. Support your opinion by giving at least three quotations from the novel.

note: lve read so many articles on this novel but l couldnt find any idea on that question above... please someone help me!!

cmsoares
07-04-2007, 02:53 PM
Hi, asami. i'm new here, so forgive me if i say something a bit off.

I'm not sure that Heart of Darkness is about being damend or saved at all. As I see it, it's about how close you are to darkness, no matter where or who you are, Europe or Africa, inside or outside yourself, or what intentions drive you, and how easy it is to "fall" into that path, when the right conditions arise.

I don't think either of them - Kurtz or Marlow - is saved or damned in the end. Kurtz's "ideal" and image are in fact saved (and don't forgett this book is also about illusions and appearences), though the man himself is dead and his soul sort of lost; also, Marlow is not damned, since he seems to have learned something about himself and the world from the experience, even if it is only what i mentioned in the paragraph above. The lie is part of it, it is - for me - a consequence of Marlow's fascination with the light/darkness in Kurtz (this part would sort of be Marlow's damnation...)

Rodney Ulyate
05-05-2009, 04:41 PM
It would be well also to keep in mind the popular reading of Marlow's narrative as an attempt in itself at cathartic redemption: righting the wrong of his lie to the Intended and his perpetration thereby of the myth of the "noble cause". The disparity between the framing narrator's opening and closing lines would appear to suggest that he meets with a fair degree of success in this regard.

Rodney Ulyate