Heart of Darkness summary:
The third part of the novella is very pathetic. Marlow is astonished at the Russian’s word. He is trying to gather a picture regarding Kurtz. He says that Kurtz is very ill now but the Russian is reluctant to accept it that Kurtz has been mad. He has nursed this great man through his illness and has been the companion of this great ivory collector in time of exploring villages. He tells Marlow that Kurtz has attacked or raided the country by the secured cooperation of the nearby tribe whose all members love him very much.
Based on the description of the Russian it is proved that Kurtz is a very hard-working ivory collector and he loses himself in ivory hunts for weeks at time. The Russian also informs that he was dismissed by his mentor when he refused to go. Here the Russian is talking about his sorrow why he was dismissed once. Then he comes to the original plot of the novel. One day Kurtz went down the river to make another ivory raid and he was caught by illness that happened six months before and from that very moment he has been nursing Kurtz.
Now Kurtz lies in a hut very miserably. Marlow is not upset at the sight. He thinks this is the real situation for Kurtz because of his lust for ivory.
Suddenly a group of natives appear around the house. When the dying Kurtz is carried on a stretcher, they convene around the stretcher. He tells them to leave. The pilgrims carry him to another cabin and give him his papers or correspondence. Kurtz says in a raspy voice that he is glad to meet Marlow.
When the Manager comes in to talk privately with Kurtz, the Russian and Marlow waits on the boat and Marlow notices the apparition of gorgeous native woman who is glittering with gold and paint and she looks savage. She steps pathetically to the edge of the shore and looks at the steamer with a deep sorrowful reflection of eyes. The harlequin man fears her.
The manager comes out of the cabin and says Marlow taking aside that they have done all for Kurtz as much they can. He complains that Kurtz did more harm than good for the company. Marlow disagrees that Kurtz’s method was unsound as he is remarkable man to Marlow. Marlow tells the Russian to escape as soon as possible because he can be hanged and he also assures that he will keep Kurtz’s reputation safe. He will never expose the secret that Kurtz ordered the natives to attack the boat because he is not willing to leave the natives at all. The purpose of boat attack was actually to prove that Kurtz has been killed in time of attack.
At night, suddenly Kurtz is missing from his cabin. Marlow discovers and follows his foot steps or trail and goes after him. The two men face one another and Kurtz confesses to Marlow that he ordered the boat attack and he has plans. Marlow replies humbly that his fame in Europe is assured. He also realizes that this man has been mad. He convinces Kurtz and bring him back to cabin.
The ship departs and Kurtz is brought into the pilot house of the ship. The brown color tide runs swiftly out of “heart of darkness. This brown color tide symbolizes the death of the great ivory collector. Marlow is mentally very haphazard now but on the other hand the Manager is satisfied. Marlow stays beside Kurtz all the time and listen to him very attentively. Kurtz gives him all the papers and a photograph of his fiancé and requests him to keep the documents hidden from the Manager. A few evenings later, Kurtz dies with one phrase on his lips, “The horror! The horror! Kurtz was buried in wet muddled land on the deserted shore of the heart of darkness.
Marlow returns to Europe but he is mentally destroyed because of his bitter memory gained in Congo. He is disrespectful to everyone whom he meets or encounters. The manager demands the papers which were given to Marlow by Kurtz entrusted him. Marlow gives the technical papers and keeps the personal letters and photograph to him. Marlow tries hard to forget his past experience but he can not forget that even after a year passed. He finds out the lady of the photo and visits her who embraces and welcomes him. She has silently mourned for the past year and she needs to profess her love and how she knew Kurtz better than anyone. Marlow perceives that the room darkens when she says this. She speaks of Kurtz’s amazing ability to draw people in through his incredibly eloquent speech. The woman says that she will be unhappy for life. Marlow states that they can always remember him. Thus, she and Marlow express their depression and she also asks Marlow about Kurtz’s last words. He lies that Kurtz spoke her name. The lady weeps in triumph.
Marlow states that telling the truth would have been too dark. Back on the Thames River ship, a tranquil waterway leads to the heart of darkness.