Heart of Darkness
Marlow , the narrator , is on the Thames, on board the Nellie, a cruising yawl, waiting for the ebb tide which will permit them to sail in the morning. During the night he tells four friends of his adventure in the heart of Africa,
in the latter part of the 19th century. In this period Marlow left civilized European life for the savagery and darkness of an unknown land, but also for a voyage into the depth of his unconscious self. While staying at Brussels, he obtained a Jon as a captain of a steamboat which would transport raw ivory from the heart of the Belgian Congo down to the
Coast, where European vessels would transport it to Belgium. He therefore left Brussels on a French steamer and, after thirty days, he leaved the mouth of Congo. Since his work would only begin a month later, he asked in the meantime
for a passage on a little sea-going steamer, sailing up the river to the first Outer Station of the Belgian Company.
There for the first time he heard the name of Kurtz, a Company agent presented as a man of culture, who had been sent some years before to an inner station in the heart of the Congo , to get ivory for the company.
It seems that he was a man of high ides, faithful to the aims of the Association: civilization and freedom for the natives. But Marlow could not see any sings of civilization there: only heat, solitude and savagery. As soon as he arrived at the Outer Station, he was shocked by the inhuman conditions of the natives, exploited to death by the white men. After
ten days Marlow leaves the Outer Station , bound for the Central Station , from where he is to begin his voyage up to the heart of Congo. He leaves with a caravan of sixty men, for a two hundred mile tramp, through heat, solitude and
abandoned villages. On 15th day of this hard trek, he reaches the Central Station, only to sunk, in the mud of the river bank. The repairs will take more than three months. During this time, Marlow hears more news about this Mr
Kurtz, "a prodigy , an emissary of science and progress". Rumors , however report that Kurtz , at the end of his contract, he begun a return voyage down the Congo river ,but, after three hundred miles , he had suddenly and
incredibly decided to go back alone, in a small dugout, to return to his empty and desolate station; strange rumors add that he is very ill , near to madness, and it i necessary to bring him back.
When the steamer is repaired , Marlow with the manager and a few European agents that he calls "pilgrims" (because they carry long wooden sticks everywhere), and a crew of natives, start on the long hard voyage to Kurtz's Inner Station. The voyage takes two months , during which time they hear that Kurtz has established himself like a god and sends the natives in brutal raids in search of ivory to send down the Central Station. When they reach the place they are attacked from the dark bush with swarms of arrows. It is clear that Kurtz wants them to go back and leave him to his inscrutable plans.
They see a ruined roof, a long mud wall with three square window holes, surrounded by an almost vanished fence, on whose poles are some severed heads of natives providing food for the vulture. Inside, Kurtz lies, half mad, almost dying. He
is brought a stretcher on board the steamer and put into pilot's house, where be dies.