Quotes and questions – “Heart of Darkness”

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“In a few days the Eldorado Expedition went into the patient wilderness, that dosed upon it as the sea closes over a diver. Long afterwards the news came that all the donkeys were dead. I know nothing as to the fate of the less valuable animals. They, no doubt, like the rest of us, found what they deserved. I did not inquire. I was then rather excited at the prospect of meeting Kurtz very soon. When I say very soon I mean it comparatively. It was just two months from the day we left the creek when we came to the bank below Kurtz’s station”. (p.41)

What is the “Eldorado Expedition”? What do you think is the reason if its name?

Are donkeys original animals of the Congo? How did they get there?

“I don’t pretend to say that steamboat floated all the time. More than once she had to wade for a bit, with twenty cannibals splashing around and pushing. We had enlisted some of these chaps on the way for a crew. Fine fellows — cannibals — in their place. They were men one could work with, and I am grateful to them. And, after all, they did not eat each other before my face: they had brought along a provision of hippo-meat which went rotten, and made the mystery of the wilderness stink in my nostrils. Phoo! I can sniff it now”. (p.43)

How is the interaction between the crew and the aboriginals?

Do they eat people? What kind of meat do they eat?

“We came to the bank, and on the stack of firewood found a flat piece of board with some faded pencil-writing on it. When deciphered it said: `Wood for you. Hurry up. Approach cautiously.’ There was a signature, but it was illegible — not Kurtz — a much longer word. `Hurry up.’ Where? Up the river? `Approach cautiously.’ We had not done so. But the warning could not have been meant for the place where it could be only found after approach. Something was wrong above. But what — and how much? That was the question  (p.46)

Why does the expedition need wood?

What are Kurtz’s feelings about what is up the river?

“…The approach to this Kurtz grubbing for ivory in the wretched bush was beset by as many dangers as though he had been an enchanted princess sleeping in a fabulous castle. `Will they attack, do you think?’ asked the manager, in a confidential tone.

I did not think they would attack, for several obvious reasons. The thick fog was one. If they left the bank in their canoes they would get lost in it, as we would be if we attempted to move…” (p.53)

Where is the expedition?

How do you imagine this place?

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