Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Heart of Darkness Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.

Heart of Darkness (1899) | Written by: Joseph Conrad| Published by: Penguin

Heart of Darkness
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Wassup suckas? This week on Thug Notes we goin straight primeval on yo ass with Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

As he chillin on the Thames River with some homies, mah boy Charles Marlow start talkin bout the dark bidness he saw while hustlin in the ivory trade.See back in the day, Marlow got hooked up tradin ivory up in da African Congo for some crew called The Company. And this gang full of shysti fools just sittin on they asses waiting for sh** to happen.Marlow get the word that he gonna holler at G-ed up agent named Kurtz livin at the inner station, but the only ride he got is a busted ass steamboat. So after gettin his ride pimped, Marlow starts his journey towards Kurtz. When it comes to slingin that clean ivory to make swole dollas, dis fool Kurtz got the whole congo SOLD UP and all the otha bruhs hatin on him since he ballin so hard. Just as Marlow cruisin up to Kurtz’s spot, arrows start flyin outta nowhere, and the helmsman gets straight LIT UP. Animation note: Helmsman takes a spear in the side.After Marlow escape, he scopes a Russian wearin some dopey ass duds who say say Kurtz ain’t yo erryday hustla.

Naw, the natives worhsipping Kurtz like Mista Big up in here- meaning Kurtz can do whatever he please. Turns out, it was Kurtz who ordered the attack on Marlow’s whip.When Marlow meets the Big Dawg, he sees that he ill in more ways than one. Marlow convinces Kurtz to truck it back to Europe, but he keep gettin sicker til he spits his last words: “The Horror! The Horror!” and then croaks like a bitch.Animation: He’s on a stretcher, and is sick. Word bubble: “Mistah Kurtz he dead” after he dies. With Marlow back in Europe, he makes a stop to see Kurtz’s lady. When she axe about his final words, Marlow lies and says that Kurtz used his last breath to say her name. Aight slick. If you got yo sh** together, you know that most peeps say HOD representin a descent in to humanity’s evil nature as Marlow flowin upriver. And as all well-read thugs know, dat journey slingin ambiguity and paradox up in here like Scarface sling yeyo.Fo example, when Kurtz is away from society for too long, he get all whacked out in the head and start doin some notorious deeds. But at the same time, society with all its crooked imperialism, doin vicious sh** on the reg.

Cuz it’s the eyes of civilization that keeps humanity’s darkness in
check. But when we surrounded by the silent whisper of the wilderness, we straight lose ourselves to the dark. It’s only then that we ain’t got no
man-made code to tell us what’s what and we start gettin straight nasty. Naw mean? On the real, both human beings AND society decked out wit enough evil inside to inspire all dat horror Kurtz talkin bout.

But what’s Kurtz really trying to say with those last words? Not only is Kurtz referrin to his own dark deeds, but the beastly evil inside the heart of erry hustla. Cuz in the wilderness, that evil got nowhere to hide. civilization, though, be all shady bout it and sweeps dat shit under the rug like s’all good.

Peep this quote from Matthew 23

”Woe unto you… hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sephulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

So when Marlow say a city look like a “whited sepulchre,” he really sayin that it’s full of crooked bustas frontin like they civilized.

But is mah boy Marlowe one of these hypocrites? Cuz this fool say he hates to lie-

“There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies – which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world.” (64)

Yet, at the end of the novella, he
lies to Kurtz’s woman like it ain’t no thang. Why?

Like the hero of the mythic journey, Marlow returns from the dank depths of Hades with info that s’posed make the world a better place. And since he realize that darkness that lie beneath too fucked up for Kurtz’s
the is just biddy to bear, he lies. Sometimes, there are more important things than than stickin straight to the truth. You feel me?

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