Heart of Darkness

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Heart of Darkness

Author: Joseph Conrad

Title: Heart Of Darkness

“The last word he pronounces—was your name” (pg. 91)The last lie that Marlow tells is sort of that black wool that the fates have in their hands, the intended being the last one of them. Once he tells the lie that is when the intended has ‘cut’ the string of his life. Since he mentioned how much he hated the mortality of lies and with that his innocence and mentality is both killed and changed.

“The swift and indifferent placidity of that look troubled me.” (Pg. 24)It sort of foreshadows what journey marlow has up ahead and in the river. As the ‘fate’ so to speak is already knowing of this, and like to the other sailors they’ve been welcoming, she only smiles at their foolishness. With Marlow its no different in this aspect.

"Two women, one fat and the other slim, sat on straw-bottomed chairs, knitting black wool." (pg 74)He describes and contrasts the two women as completely different in age and appearance giving us an insight that these two women are the supposed Fates from Greek Mythology. Having the string of life in their hands, it is to say that they have Marlow’s fate in their hands, foreshadowing with the black wool the dark journey he’ll be facing in the Congo.

Black Wool


So what?

We see fate highlighted in many parts of the novel by Joseph Conrad,“The Heart of Darkness”, just telling us that it doesn’t matter whether you have the same fate as another person, it’s the way in which the person handles the situation which determines the outcome of said fate.

The black wool demonstrates to us that even with a dark path ahead of us we can still take it on and have a different outcome than what any other person has had as well. The cutting of the thread can result in a change in mentality in everybody in many different ways and not just in a corporal manner. The fate determines the mentality and the thread, or the journey, can do so as well to somebody.

“One introducing, introducing continuously to the unknown, the other scrutinizing the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned old eyes. Ave! Old knitter of black wool. Morituri te salutant” (pg. 24)We see also the contrast of the way they greet, as if the birth is giving no insight of what’s to come and the old lady who’s life watches the ‘foolish’ come into the dark world as they know it, not caring much of what happens to them throughout their journey. The latin phrase meaning "They who are about to die salute you," which was said by the emperors to the condemned Roman criminals/gladiators before. Just foreshadowing Marlows condemned journey as well.

Poster By: Andrea R.


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