Heart of Darkness Short Summary
This piece by Joseph Conrad is an account of the things that happened to a sailor called Marlow as he took a journey through River Congo. His objective was to meet a man by the name, Kurtz. Kurtz is known to be full of ideas and exemplary abilities.
A Quick Overview of the Plot
Marlow travels a boat operated a group of traders known as the Company. In the course of the journey, he notices that there are many inefficiencies in the way the Company operates. The natives have been forced to into the Company’s operations and are being overworked.
At the Central Station, Marlow meets the general manager. Because the steamship is still incomplete, Marlow has to wait for it to be completed. He begins getting interested in Kurtz after he notices that the general managers at the Central Station see Kurtz as a threat to their leadership position. Kurtz is said to be unwell. When the sheep is complete, Marlow, the manager, and other agents continue with their journey. Difficulties mar the voyage, and the dense jungle makes the people involved afraid.
At some point, the crew is attacked by unknown people. Arrows are shot from the safety of the forest by people assumed to be natives. As the crew gets to the inner station, they think that Kurtz is dead. However, they are told he is fine. From the look of things, Kurtz is valued by the locals, and they do not want him to go anywhere. The pilgrims come out with Kurtz carried on a stretcher. The pilgrims then run into the forest following a directive from Kurtz. The manager carries Kurtz to the steamer. A beautiful lady, Kurtz mistress, keeps looking at the steamer from a distance. In the middle of the night, Kurtz disappears. Marlow searches for him and locates him trying to escape to the camps owned by the natives. Marlow convinces him to return to the steamer though Kurtz’s health is failing.
The steamer breaks down as they travel back. As they stop to repair it, Kurtz dies. This situation confuses Marlow. Marlow also falls sick. When Marlow gets to Europe, he goes to meet Kurtz’s fiancé still mourning, yet it has been a year since his death. He lies to her that his last words were her name.