Heart of Darkness Study Guide Essay

2242 Words Oct 22nd, 2013 9 Pages
Heart of Darkness Study Questions
Chapter 1
1. The setting of the story begins on the Nellie, a ship. The turn of the tide is significant because it gives the men on board extra time to talk, and Marlow begins telling his story. In addition, symbolically, the turning of the tide conveys a change, and perhaps, foreshadowing of the story. The author spends a lot of time dealing with light because it is the main symbol in the novella. Light and darkness are universal symbols that represent good and evil. Although not explicitly stated, those who have the light are those who are “civilized”, and those who have the darkness are those who remain “uncivilized”, particularly the people living in Africa.
2. Marlow appears different from
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12. The brick maker appears to be idle as Marlow remarks on how there “wasn't a fragment of a brick anywhere in the station.” The brick maker is waiting for his opportunity to move up the ladder within the company.
13. Kurtz’ painting is of a blindfolded woman carrying a lighted torch, in which her face is appears deceived by shadows. I suppose the painting reflects the men traveling to Africa, blindfolded, to civilize the natives, who represent the light. The woman is blindfolded as the European men are blinded by their negative influence on the natives. The shadows suggest darkness, which suggests corruption.
14. The manager and brick maker are upset at Kurtz’ pre-eminence because they are envious at his success. This conveys the competition, desperation, and corruption during this time period to do whatever it takes to be successful, powerful, and rich. For these European men, money was power and that was their desire. Marlow lies to the brick maker by playing along to further understand his motives. In addition, Marlow allows the brick maker to think he has an influence in Europe to gain information about Kurtz.
15. Marlow was unable to get the rivets from the Company. This suggests how the enterprise is allowing loose policies and for things to follow apart; this conveys a lack of professionalism. The manager does not want the rivets to make it out because he wants his Eldorado Exploring

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