1. The Opening. What is the situation at the opening of the work? Where are we, and who is there? How does the narrator connect the present and the past?
There is the captain and four men, the accountant, the lawyer, Marlow, and the narrator. They were in a yacht, in the Thames River. It was starting to get dark, the sky was red and everyone was in awe. The narrator connects the present and the past stating that many men have sailed and have had dreams in the water, which connect, to their dreams today.
2. What does Marlow mean by his first statement (bottom p.67)? Who is Marlow and how is he different from the others there with him? What does it mean that to Marlow "the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale . . . ."? How does Marlow describe the Romans in Britain? (Julius Caesar first attacked Britain in 55 BCE; Britain was finally conquered and made a part of the Roman Empire in 43 CE, and the Roman legions left in 410 CE.) What is Conrad’s purpose here?
Marlow is a seaman he has spent a great part of his life in the water, he is different than most of the crew because he is very meticulous and uses a lot of detail when he recalls a story. He believes that what really matters are the events around the story not the message inside of it. We have heard about the Racism going on in heart of darkness and it is somewhat how the romans used to see Britain, in a very uncivilized way as savages. Conrad is not trying to make Africa look bad it is just the time, now it was time for Britain to bring society to them like the romans did to Britain.
3. How did Marlow get his appointment as captain of a riverboat for the Company? Who is Captain Fresleven, what part does he play in Marlow's appointment, and how much of a part is he likely to play in the rest of the story?
Marlow got appointed as captain due to certain people that his aunt knew. The savages killed Captain Freslven, who was from Denmark, and this gave Marlow an opening space so he could be a captain. I believe that this will not recur in the future of the novella, but was just to show us how the “savages” where.
4. What does Marlow make of the people he meets at the Company headquarters? What is the effect on Marlow and the reader of the two women knitting? It was the biggest think in the city with huge double doors and it reminded him of a white tomb. So, what do you make of them? Who is "the great man himself"? What happens when Marlow visits his aunt to say his farewells? How does the aunt view Marlow's mission? How does Marlow feel as he is about to embark for Africa?
Throughout chapter one we can observe a dark mood, as well as in this office. I think I can describe the people here were very estrange. The two women knitting just make him uncomfortable by the way they look at him. The Great man Himself is the chief of the company, the man who is going to give him his job. They drink a cup of tea and Marlow discovers that she has spoke marvelously of him. She thinks that he can go and civilize all those savages. When Marlow is embarking for Africa he feels like he is going to the “center of the Earth”.
5. Sailing to Africa. How does Marlow describe the thirty days he spent sailing to the mouth of the river? What unusual things does he note, and how does he respond to them?
Everything was the same to him, the coast, and the jungle. He noticed the natives had a lot of energy. Another thing he noticed was the French firing to the jungle and to no one. To Marlow this seemed pointless.
6. What are the first things Marlow sees at the Outer Station? What terms does Marlow use to describe what he sees? How does Marlow seem to respond to what he sees? How does he generalize his experience so far in the passage about different kinds of devils?
Marlow sees a lot of sad things happening to the savages, they are dying from starvation, walking with chains as if they had committed a crime. He is tormented with this views and thinks this is very unfair. He generalizes his experience by speaking about the devils of, violence, greed, and desire.
7. What happens in Marlow's encounter with the chief accountant? What is surprising about this man, given what we and Marlow have just seen? How does Marlow respond to him? Who is Mr. Kurtz and what does Marlow learn about him from the chief accountant?
When Marlow first meets the chief accountant he is mesmerized by his clean appearance in this filthy place. We have just seen despair and death and this man is the complete opposite. Marlow is astonished and asks him how he can maintain his appearance in this way. Mr. Kurtz is the best agent the company has, the one that brings more profit to the company all together.
8. Journey to the Central Station. What does Marlow see on his journey to the central station (Leopoldville/Stanley Pool) and what are his responses? What does he think of the white companion and what happens to him?
Marlow cannot see many things, except for tall grasses and abandoned places there was no one to be seen just dead men. The companion is a nice guy but rather fat and because it is very hot he faints a lot and the portieres have to carry him.
9. At the Central Station. What does Marlow learn about his ship? What happened to it? What does Marlow learn from the manager, especially about Kurtz?
When he arrives the manager tells him that his ship is broken because it crashed with some rocks. Marlow leans that Kurtz’s station is in danger because he is sick.
10. Who are the "faithless pilgrims" and why does Marlow call them that? Keep this in mind; from here on, he will simply refer to these men as "pilgrims." What is interesting to Marlow about the fire?
The “faithless pilgrims” are the agents who never do anything they just pray for ivory and stay still all day long not doing their job. He uses this because they pray and do nothing like they don’t have faith. What is interesting for Marlow is that the fire grows and then diminishes in a fast way.
11. What does Marlow learn from the "fellow" about Kurtz? Pay attention to Kurtz' painting; what is it a painting of?
The painting is of a black woman carrying a torch and she is blindfolded. He learns that he was just sent to “civilize” the people of Africa, and that he believes that one day he would be the general manager of the place.
12. Who is the man with the moustaches and what does Marlow learn from him? Why does Marlow call the "fellow" "this papier-mâché Mephistopheles"?
This man beats the black men and he wanted to be the general manager, unfortunately for him Kurtz will take that position. Marlow calls him a "this papier-mâché Mephistopheles" because he like Mephistopheles is like the devil just trying to make people do horrible things.
13. What thoughts about the river does Marlow have as he leans against the wreck of his steamer? What are his thoughts about the forest and Kurtz?
He leans and he can smell the forest, it is a night with a moon that reflects its light into the river. The jungle just seems to revolve around Kurtz and ivory but Marlow cannot seem to imagine this person, as popular as he can be.
14. What is the importance of rivets to Marlow and why are they a problem? Who is the foreman and why does Marlow like him? How does the foreman respond to what Marlow says about rivets? Which man was right?
The Rivets are important to Marlow because he is in desperate need to fix his ship. The foreman is a mechanic and Marlow likes him because he is a very good worker. The foreman says that they will never come even though Marlow is very confident that someday they will. The foreman was correct they never come.
15. What is the Eldorado Exploring Expedition and why are they there? What does Marlow think of them? Who is the leader of the expedition?
Eldorado Exploring expedition just wanted to rob Africa of her sacredness. Marlow just wants to know who they are because he is mad the rivets never came. The leader is the managers uncle.