Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad

BACKGROUND

This is a book that takes place in Europe and then in Africa. Lot of students read this in class as a short story. It is not that short. This was also a movie called "Apocalypse Now". Martin Sheen is in it, with fatty Marlon Brando and Harrison Ford. It's a pretty good movie. In this story there are "agents". These are guys that travel and go get ivory.

MAIN CHARACTERS

Charlie Marlow: He is one of the main dudes of the book. Marlow kinda represent the author. Marlow is on this trip to "find himself" (kinda like rich college kids going to Europe after they graduate to "find themselves"....then they realize who they are...rich college kids!!). But Marlow is a good guy. He is brave and not afraid to fight. He is also humble, and not an arrogant prick. The dude has morals too. He objects to the white guys having the black guys as slaves at the stations.

Kurtz: In the beginning of this book, Marlow talks about Kurtz nonstop. He builds Kurtz up as this great dude and you are supposed to get curious and fascinated by him. Kurtz doesnít really appear much in the book.....but people talk about him A LOT. Kurtz was an ivory agent who goes crazy and reverts back to basic primitive nature. He first kills all the Africans at takes their ivory. Then he controls a loyal army of African slaves and becomes the god of these people. What a nut. Kurtz started out as a good guy but didnít know he had this really evil side to him. Itís like when you and your friend go on a nice camping trip and then one guy turns into an asshole because he is no longer confined to home rules.

The Russian: He is this young sailor dude who is one of Kurtzís loyal followers. He helps Kurtz when he is sick. When Marlow gets to Kurtzís station, the Russian tells Marlow everything Kurtz has been up to. Heís pretty dumb because he follows Kurtz and doesnít know any better.

The Manager: This guy is a prick. He runs the Central Station. He doesnít care about people, just business and making money. He makes the Africans his slaves to help get Ivory, and he doesnít care. What a mean dude.

PLOT

The story starts out with these 5 dudes sitting on a boat. There is a lawyer, an accountant, a military guy, the narrator, and some dude named Marlow. Then Marlow tells them his story. He starts out telling them how he was sailing around, all over the place. He jumped from boat to boat experiencing new things. Many of these boats were ivory boats, sailing around looking for ivory. His rich powerful Aunt got him a job as the captain of a steamer in Africa looking for Ivory. . Then he arrives at the "station". He sees a lot of overworked black slaves. He meets this handsome accountant guy. The accountant tells him about a dude named Kurtz. Kurtz is one of the best "agents" (he gets a lot of ivory). They take a trip to the central "station". They get there and see that their steamboat has sunk. The manager of the central station doesn't know where Kurtz is.

That night Marlow talks with one of the agents. The agent says good things about Kurtz and how he'll probably be promoted in the big company. However, the agent kinda hates Kurtz because they are competing for similar promotions. Marlow pumps the agent for info on Kurtz. Marlow is very curious about this dude named Kurtz. Then the Steamer is fixed so they continue with the trip. They head toward Kurtzís station to find out what the hell happened to him.

They sail on the river and then they are attacked by spears and arrows. Itís the African savages attacking them. They shoot back and try to pop some caps in their asses. They finally blow the steam whistle and the noise scares the savages. Then they get to the "Inner Station". A Russian dude is there and heís taking care of Kurtz because Kurtz is sick. The Russian sailor dude tells the crew that Kurtz went psycho and started killing the African savages and stealing their ivory. He became their leader and was treated like a God. Marlow sees sticks with heads on them (like Lord of the flies). Marlow is kinda scared because he knows Kurtz has a big African army that will do anything he wants them to. Kurtz was the one who told the savages to attack Marlowís steamboat. So now the crew has Marlow in their "custody".

The night before they leave, Kurtz tries to escape back to his followers (the African savages). Marlow catches him and doesnít let him go. They take Kurtz back and thatís where he says those famous lines "Oh the horror..the horror!!" (but you gotta say it in that Marlon Brando voice for full effect). Then Kurtz dies.

Marlow gets sick, but then gets better. He goes back to Brussels. He visits Marlowís fiancťe who he left at home. In the book she is called the "Intended" (like he intended to marry her). She asks Marlow what Kurtzís last words were. He lies and says it was her name. She cries.

PART BY PART

( This book has 3 Really long boring parts. Hope you can keep up. )

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

THINGS TO MAKE YOU LOOK SMART