Pay attention to the trip to the Central Station—the people who are accompanying Marlow and the people they meet. What about that white man they meet who is sick? What’s going on there? Significance?
There seems to be considerable sickness and death. What is Conrad trying to say?
Pay attention to the Manager of the Central Station. What words does Marlow use to describe him? Why would he do that? What’s Conrad trying to tell us?
The steam boat…plays a HUGE role, although, passive here.
“Men who come out here should have not entrails.” Significance?
What about the Manager’s “boy”?
What about the fire? The pail with the hole in it? What about the black man who was beaten? What happens to him? What is Conrad saying to us about this?
Lots of images of good and evil. Why? What about the table in the Mess Hall? Allusion? Good business practice? Just redecorating?
Pilgrims? Who, what, when, where, why? Significant?
Look at the “first-class agent.” Who is he? The story says that he seems to be waiting—as though he were going to make bricks and needs to wait for the straw. How is Conrad using this character? Who is he? What does he want? Candles, matches, fire in this part. By chance or on purpose? What about the interior decoration that agent has in his “hut”?
Theft. Some interesting ideas about it.
The new gang—the gang of virtue. What are the implications here? Virtue v. transgressions.
The agent as “this papier-mâché Mephistopheles.”
Sense of time—“primeval mud.” What is Conrad doing with this description?
On page 30 of the green book, the narrator (and Conrad) remind the reader that he is listening to Marlow tell this story.
Narrator: “I listened, I listened on the watch for the sentence, for the word that would give me the clue to the faint uneasiness inspired by the narrative that seemed to shape itself without human lips in the heavy night-air of the river” p. 31
Kurtz is called a “universal genius.” I think we should check this out.
Rivets seem significant. Why? Why would Conrad choose rivets? What is a rivet?
The messenger fears neither God nor devil. There’s that good and evil thing again.
Messenger: “No man here bears a charmed life.” p 31.
Marlow: “I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work—the change to find yourself.” What do you think?
Eldorado Exploring Expedition (what’s the allusion?)
“To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe.”
Re-read the last paragraph. Pay attention!