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Heart of Darkness


How to Study a Conrad Novel Heart of Darkness Reader Response Pages 3-5 What word dominates pages 3-4 Who are the five people on the deck of the Nellie? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness
  • How to Study a Conrad Novel

Reader Response Pages 3-5
  1. What word dominates pages 3-4
  2. Who are the five people on the deck of the
  3. Quote the description of Marlow given on page 4.
    On page 5, who had all gone out on that stream,
    bearing the sword, and often the torch,
    messengers of the might within the land, bearing
    the spark from the sacred fire? What is the
    narrator talking about here?
  4. According to Marlow, what has also been one of
    the dark places on the earth?

Pages 7-9
  1. What is the gist of Marlows discussion of the
    Romans first (coming) here?
  2. Marlow talks about the fascination with the
    abomination. What does this expression mean to
  3. The passage at the bottom of page 8 that begins
    The conquest of the earth . . . and ends at the
    end of the paragraph is both controversial and
    central to an understanding of the novella. What
    do you think Marlow means when he says What
    redeems it is the idea only.?

Pages 10-12
  1. What is Marlows first name?
  2. Who gets Marlow his appointment?
  3. Who is Fresleven?
  4. How did he look when Marlow encountered him?
  5. What do the women knitting black wool suggest to

Pages 15-17
  • Why is Marlows cranium measured?
  • What does Marlows aunt say that makes him
  • What is his reaction to her comments?
  • What is your reaction to his comments about her
  • Note I felt as though, instead of going to the
    centre of a continent, I were about to set off
    for the centre of the earth.

Pages 18-20
  • Personify the coast. What does it ask of
  • What is the touch of insanity Marlow discusses?
  • What does Marlow say watching a coast is like?
  • What happened to the Swede about whom another
    Swede tells Marlow? (This is an example of a
    stylistically challenged sentence)

In a Conrad novel you should always be able to
discover an opposition between ideals and reality
at the core of the text
Passage 1 p. 21(69)
  • I came upon a boiler . . . Indifference of
    unhappy savages.
  • Think about what the extract is showing us.
  • At this stage in your reading, how do we relate
    the impression of these details to the novel as a

Page 38 (84)
  • Hollow Men
  • this papier-mâché Mephistopheles
  • The Jungle Truth

Pages 41-43 (87)
  • What I really wanted was rivets, by heaven! .
    . . can never tell what it really means.
  • If we continue this idea of the central
    opposition being between idealism and reality,
    support this interpretation with specific details
    from the text.
  • The idealized reality that Marlow was confident
    of when in Europe has been seriously challenged
    now that he is in Africa. Support this
    interpretation with details.

  • Pages 17 (65) 72 (86)
  • Consider how Marlow thinks about women. How does
    his attitude change by the time he meets the
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