Significant Events


1. Outer Station

2. Grove of Death

3. Inner Station

4. Central Station (Kurtz’s Station)

  1. Marlow asks his aunt to get him a job as a steamship operator for the trip to Africa. This is significant because Marlowe has talked about not being fond of asking others to do him a favor, favors usually end badly. He ignores his beliefs because without his aunt he knew he wouldn’t get the job. If he didn’t get the job he wouldn’t have met Kurtz. (part 1)
  2. Marlow gets called in for an interview about the job position; while he was there the doctor measured his head and asked about his family’s sanity. This is significant because in Africa people are known to drive people crazy by the measuring of his head and the insanity question it shows that they’re seeing if he can handle the darkness he will step into. (part 1)
  3. Marlow goes to say goodbye to his aunt in return she tells him he is an “emissary of light” going to spread the goodness and deliver them from their “horrible ways.” He then hints to her that this trip is for a profit and goes on to say its queer how out of touch with truth women are.  This event is significant because earlier Marlow tells us “that beautiful idea behind colonization masks the ruthless practice of colonization” and his aunt agrees with that statement. This also begins the stereo type of women as a symbol to the theme of civilizations inability to see the world’s hollow corruption and how women are gullible. (part 1)
  4. Marlow finally boards the steamer that will take him to the Congo he sees the coast of Africa as an impenetrable enigma, inviting and scorning him at the same time. He also sees a French ship on his journey firing its guns into the dense forest at invisible “enemies.” This is significant because since Marlow was a young boy he had a passion to travel and see the unknown. As a grown man Marlow things Africa would be a good place to go because it’s unknown nobody really knows what it’s like there.  The unknown makes colonialists do weird crazy things like shoot something that’s not even there because they are afraid of what is to come in the end. (Part 1)
  5. At the company station Marlow has an encounter with the Grove of Death; which is a grove among the trees where a group of weak dying native laborers spent their last moments and the chief accountant is the first person to tell Marlow about Mr. Kurtz. These events are significant because Marlow sees the horror and tragedy among the natives but he doesn’t feel it’s a human tragedy to say. Marlow’s encounter with the accountant lets him in on what is going on with the company and tells Kurtz as a remarkable and talented man. This leads him to his journey of Kurtz and his personal downfall.  (Part  1)
  6. At the central station Marlow gets clues from the station manager who tells Marlow the ship he was suppose to pilot has sunk and he acted uncomfortable during the interview as in something was bothering him and a painting of a woman draped in blindfolded, carrying a lighted torch which distorts her face by Kurtz. The encounter is significant because it shows how people as a whole are motivated by greed and aren’t patient enough to wait on those that are knowledgeable in certain area. This thought leads to mess ups and waste which is present throughout the novel. The painting is significant because it symbolizes different ideas throughout the story. The woman is most likely used to represent the Europeans who have come to civilize the natives, the torch she carries can be said to represent the European customs and values that they try to force upon the native Africans, the woman being blind folded is how the Europeans can’t physically see the negative effects their customs have on the natives, and the way the woman’s face is distorted because to the natives the Europeans customs seem repulsive. (Part 1)
  7. Cannibals were added to the crew and this is significant because in the story the cannibals are better people they don’t eat the whole crew even though they are hungry. The cannibals are judged by the European travelers and colonists. This shows how everything and everyone is not how it seems because of the title it carries. (Part 2)
  8. At the inner station Marlow has a run in with a Russian who absolutely adored Kurtz and updates Marlow on all things Kurtz. The Russian wore multicolored pieces of rags made from old rags Kurtz had laying around. This can represent how he adsorbs Kurtz and how much power he has on the Russian’s life. This is like the people in society today we send ourselves to our own darkness and doom by following someone else to closely like the Russian. (Part 2)
  9. The Heads on a stick is a significant event because it’s a turning point when the “savages” have been taken care of in the story. Most people would see this as a horrid thing but Marlow says “eh- no big deal.”  This shows Marlow’s darkness that has taken over his body and how he sees horror as a humorous thing.  People don’t see them as a life and human being since it isn’t like them then hey why care if they are alive or not.  (Part 3)
  10. Marlow has an encounter with Kurtz who leaves him old documents and things that are important to him to be continued once he is gone. This is significant because Kurtz didn’t really know this man and he was asking him to continue his legacy. Marlow chooses not to continue his legacy because he doesn’t want to better the world but he wants control and power from himself. This is like most Americans today we get greedy and lose sight of what is right by our ambitions.  (Part 3)
  11. Kurtz tells Marlow that he is waiting for death and right before Kurtz death his last words were the horror the horror which is significant because he ends his life in hopelessness and despair. His life, the way the world is all horrific and he’s happy he finally gets to leave the darkness behind. (Part 3)
  12. When Marlow meets the intended he makes her belief that Kurtz’s last words was her name and agreed that they were a close couple. This is significant because it goes back to his belief on women and how gullible they are to belief someone. It also can be said that women are fragile and there isn’t much they can handle. Marlow beliefs she’s heart enough and wouldn’t be able to handle the truth after two years. He lies to make her feel better even though he hates a lie so in a way he is doing his part and helping.  Marlow knows that if he can see the civilizations hollowness and can’t bring himself to tell her the darkness beneath it all then civilizations blindness stays which is what he desires.  (Part 3)



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