Essay Heart Of Darkness Discussion Questions

Submitted By PSWAGGIE
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Pages: 6

Heart of Darkness: Part 2

1.)The “unsettling things” Marlow finds about the natives is that they’ve become savages, “..with twenty cannibals splashing around and pushing. We had enlisted some of these chaps on the way for a crew. Fine fellows--cannibals--in their place.” (Conrad 45).Marlow’s initial reaction to the indigenous Africans was they were savages. However, Marlow’s later attitude towards the indigenous Africans changed as he better knew them and realized that they weren’t as inferior as they are portrayed, “We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there-- there you could look at a thing monstrous and free.” (46). Inhuman: cannibalism, unusual. They’re simplistic, the tails, lots of imagery to go with how inhuman they are but they are human.

2.) Conrad develops Marlow’s kinship with the “primitive” jungle by observing his surroundings and opening/realizing reality, “There were moments when one's past came back to one, as it will sometimes when you have not a moment to spare to yourself; but it came in the shape of an unrestful and noisy dream, remembered with wonder amongst the overwhelming realities of this strange world of plants, and water, and silence.” (56). Conrad emphasizes the connection of Marlow’s kinship with the “primitive” jungle “like yours--the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise,” (46). He changes will the jungle changes. The connection with the trees, he personifies the jungle, as if theyre being watched/ showed. He has an admiration. He’s able to reflect on himself without anyone around him.

3.) Marlow identifies the African crewmen on board his steamboat as "cannibals," Marlow marvels at the "restraint" of the cannibals, who refrain from having "a good tuck in" by feasting on the admittedly "unappetizing" white men, noting "they were thirty to five. Marlow's overturned expectations mirror those of Conrad's readers, for he finds himself shocked that they can resist the animal power of hunger: "Restraint! I would just as soon have expected restraint from a hyena prowling amongst the corpses of a battlefield" (53). "And after all," he adds, "they did not eat each other before my face" (106). The reader, like Marlow, cannot help but compare the unexpected self-control of the African cannibals to the European Kurtz's lack of restraint.
More human than more inhuman they are, they more connectivity they have with nature. The unexpected self-control of the African cannibals comapared to the European lack of restraint. Kurtz, in fact, attracts the novel's cannibalistic language. Marlow describes the severed heads surrounding Kurtz's house as "food for thought” and twice thinks of Kurtz "opening his mouth voraciously, as if to devour all the earth with all its mankind.” Kurtz as "the real cannibal in the book: not necessarily literally, though the shrunken heads and unspeakable rites hardly rule out that possibility, but metaphorically.The cause in “restraint,” in general, is used in hospitals. It alienates and restrains people of freedom.

4.) The three distance classes of human existence that Marlow outlines in the text is those who have power but treat others like theyre not humans, those who are inferior to others but mean no harm just want success, and those who work hard but are seen as inferior. Lower class: savage, natives’
Medium class: brickmaker, pilgrims
High class: Kurtz and Europeans classes less behavior of upper class. 5.) Kurt’s “Report on the Suppression of Savage Customs” and his postscript to it Kurtz has written at the request of the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs. The report is eloquent and powerful, if lacking in practical suggestions. It concludes, however, with a handwritten postscript…