Heart Of Darkness Travel Journal
Belgium (pg. 73):
"Like a whited sepulcher, I was quickly forced into this environment. I don't know what to expect, only to hope that I'll get to see what I've been looking for. When I first arrived, it wasn't hard to find the Company Office. It seemed like a big deal in town. And even better, the process was quick!! Which made me suspicious, but I can't lose sight of the vision..."
Trip to Africa (pg. 78) :
"We're on our way to the settlement and on the way, I see greyish-whitish
specks…with a flag flying above them. I heard that some people drowned at these settlements, but that can be attributed to lack of cautiousness. I mean, no one tried to help them, so it had to be them at fault. Nonetheless, we pressed onward and after three months, we made it to the mouth of the river and it was glorious. Everything I imagined and more. Next we moved on to a settlement 30 miles away. There were construction projects and equipment in disarray and indigenous people suffering as project laborers. To avoid a group of convicts, I step into
a shady grove and discovers a group of Africans near death from exhaustion. It was an odd sight and I wasn't quite prepared."
"We leave the Outer Station with sixty
native porters and a single white companion.
We pass through abandoned villages,
encounters a drunken white man
responsible for security on the road, and
finds the corpse of a recently executed native.
The Helmsman’s Funeral and Arrival at the
Inner Station (pg. 105):
"The trip back up the river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. Here we released the body to the river, I still don't feel right about this, but I couldn't let him be eaten by cannibals. Some fifty miles below the Inner Station we came upon a hunt of reeds. We also came upon Kurtz's disciple, who is a bit child-like and was dressed like a harlequin. He told us that you only listen to Kurtz and he's making up lost babbling in explanation to him talking so fast. He also said something that struck my interest, he claims that the natives attacked because they didn't want him to leave. How interesting..."
Returning to the Station (pg. 138):
"I finally was able to meet Kurtz, the mystery man behind all of this. However I am shocked at his character. His actions resemble that of a temper tantrum to a much more bloody extent. He kills the africans when he doesn't get what he wants! My moral compass is disgusted with this finding, but he's just so captivating I find myself looking past this no matter how wrong this is. The harlequin was right. I do like listening to him. But this is wrong. The boat is broken down, we don't have much time left before we all go mad."
Operation: Rescue Kurtz (pg. 154)
"We planned our attack to rescue Kurtz from his captors and it ultimately failed. Of course the natives attacked us again, but it seemed like our crew wasn't completely into the fight either. I myself acquired some wounds, but thats nothing in comparison to what happened next. I went to speak to Kurtz and inform him of what happened and he had gone blind. His last words to me were "The horror! The horror!". I knew he'd eventually reach this point without help, so I blew out the candle and left. However, his words stuck with me. I couldn't stay there. Once everyone else found out, there was almost a mutiny, but things were brought back into control. The next day we buried his body. This feels like the end."
London (pg. 158)
"I'm back where I started. London. I fully recovered physically, but I'll never forget the emotional and mental toll Africa took on me. I have to go and return Kurtz's letters tomorrow, so hopefully I'll find some closure. But if not, I'll never be at peace."
- "The edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf, ran straight, like a ruled line, far, far away along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by a creeping mist. The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam. Here and there grayish-whitish specks showed up clustered inside the white surf, with a flag flying above them perhaps. Settlements some centuries old, and still no bigger than pinheads on the untouched expanse of their background. We pounded along, stopped, landed soldiers; went on, landed custom-house clerks to levy toll in what looked like a God-forsaken wilderness, with a tin shed and a flagpole lost in it; landed more soldiers--to take care of the custom-house clerks, presumably. Some, I heard, got drowned in the surf; but whether they did or not, nobody seemed particularly to care. They were just flung out there, and on we went." (pg. 78)
- The irony of this situation is that Europeans are going to explore and take advantage of Africa when it seems that there is nothing to take from there. Any signs of humanity on its shore seem insignificant in comparison to the big jungle.
- "These chaps were not much account, really. They were no colonists; their administration was merely a squeeze, and nothing more, I suspect. They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force — nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind — as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.What redeems it is the idea only." (pg 73)
- Europeans have the ability to go to better places with larger treasures and still chooses to raid Africa for no reason. They just want to control the Africans. They also go the extra mile to try to change the religion and culture of the people for no real reason.
- "You could fill your pockets with rivets for the trouble of stooping down -- and there wasn't one rivet to be found where it was wanted. We had plates that would do, but nothing to fasten them with. And every week the messenger, a long negro, letter-bag on shoulder and staff in hand, left our station for the coast. And several times a week a coast caravan came in with trade goods -- ghastly glazed calico that made you shudder only to look at it, glass beads value about a penny a quart, confounded spotted cotton handkerchiefs. And no rivets." (pg. 98)
- The idea of rivets being everywhere, but not "one to be found when it was wanted" brings out the futility in European progress. Advancement becomes synonymous with setback. Another reason why they shouldn't be in Africa.
"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad
- "The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking away from those who have a different complexion or slightly fatter nose than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only"
- "You should have heard him say, ‘My ivory.’ Oh, yes, I heard him. ‘My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my-' everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars in their places. Everything belonged to him-but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible-it was not good for one either-trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land-I mean literally."
- "The tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness."
- "Did I see it? I saw it. What more did I want? What I really wanted was rivets, by heaven! Rivets. To get on with the work—to stop the hole. Rivets I wanted. There were cases of them down at the coast—cases—piled up—burst—split! You kicked a loose rivet at every second step in that station-yard on the hillside. Rivets had rolled into the grove of death. You could fill your pockets with rivets for the trouble of stooping down—and there wasn’t one rivet to be found where it was wanted. We had plates that would do, but nothing to fasten them with. And every week the messenger, a long negro, letter-bag on shoulder and staff in hand, left our station for the coast. And several times a week a coast caravan came in with trade goods—ghastly glazed calico that made you shudder only to look at it, glass beads value about a penny a quart, confounded spotted cotton handkerchiefs. And no rivets. Three carriers could have brought all that was wanted to set that steamboat afloat."
- "Up for repairs at the head of an island. This delay was the first thing that shook Kurtz's confidence. One morning he gave me a packet of papers and a photograph -- the lot tied together with a shoe-string. 'Keep this for me,' he said. 'This noxious fool' (meaning the manager) 'is capable of prying into my boxes when I am not looking.' In the afternoon I saw him. He was lying on his back with closed eyes, and I withdrew quietly, but I heard him mutter, 'Live rightly, die, die . . .' I listened. There was nothing more. Was he rehearsing some speech in his sleep, or was it a fragment of a phrase from some newspaper article? He had been writing for the papers and meant to do so again, 'for the furthering of my ideas. It's a duty.'"
- The first part of this novel is a dark and confusing setting where Marlow begins to change to fit his surroundings. He develops an obsession and does things that he normally wouldn't do.
Part II: "A Red Lining"
- The next part of the novel is very informational for Marlow. The red represents the unfortunate blood shed that leads to a "silver lining", a phrase that means that in unfortunate events there is hope. And there is for his quest after he finds out more about Kurtz and his relationship with the natives.
Part III: "A Light Progression"
- In Kurtz's death, Marlow can finally accept his morals as being the thing he should always keep with him. When Kurtz died, he lost his godly image and became human like Marlow. Although Marlow experienced a lot in Africa that he won't be able to forget, he could become content through time hopefully.