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savages Lie

Heart of Darkness
By Joseph Conrad
Main Characters

Marlow - Young man who decides that it would be exiting to travel into Africa hunting ivory and does so by taking the place of a dead steamboat captain.

Kurts - Famous man among the ivory seekers who has lived and hunted on the continent for a while and has exploited the savages becoming much like a savage himself.

Russian fool - Man who is known by his clothes with many colorful patches making him look much like a harlequin.  He works with Kurtz who proves to be poor company for him.

The Intended - Kurtzs bride to be who at the end of the book still thinks that Kurtz was the great man that she remembered him to be and Marlow doesnt have the heart to tell her otherwise.

Minor Characters

Helmsman - Man who steers the steamboat but goes away from the wheel to fight the savages only to be killed by an arrow.

Accountant - Accountant who takes care of the money matters for Kurtz and has lived on the continent for three years trying to keep his civilized nature.

Settings

Central Station - This is the station where Marlow meets the accountant and observes the way the whites do nothing but exploit the blacks to do pointless labor.

Inner Station - This is the station where Kurtz works and where Marlow finds him being worshipped by the savages.

Thames River - Marlow tells his story to various people here.

Plot

Marlow sits at the Thames River in the evening with several other people and begins telling the story about how he entered into the dark continent out of nowhere.  No one wants to listen but he continues anyway.
Marlow expressed a desire to go to Africa to his Aunt who got him a position as a captain of a steamboat of an ivory company.  The previous captain Freslaven died in a scuffle with the natives and Marlow took his place.  A few days later, Marlow travels to Africa and gets to the first station where he meets the accountant who keeps track of the funds in Kurtzs company.  The man is interesting to Marlow since hes been on the continent for three years, yet he keeps himself clean and well dressed.  Marlow finds the blacks being poorly treated and ordered to do meaningless work by the whites.  Marlow continues down the river on his steamboat with a crew of several whites and about 20 to 30 blacks.  As he travels down the river, he comes across this shack where he picks up wood, and a note cautioning him to travel carefully.  He continues down the river and becomes surrounded by savages in the fog.  Marlow is frightened but the savages dont do anything... until the fog rises.  The savages attack and Marlows men fire back.  The arrows of the savages have little effect on Marlows men or his boat.  And the guns of Marlows men have little effect on the savages since they fire too high.  Only Marlows helmsman dies.  Marlow blows the whistle and mysteriously, all the savages retreat in fear.  Marlow shortly reaches the inner station where he is greeted by the Russian Fool who seems to survive in the heart of the continent by not knowing whats going on around him.  Kurtz is very ill and needs to be taken back to England, but he does not want to go.  In fact, he is the one who ordered the attack on the steamboat so that they couldnt take him back to England.  Kurtz is worshipped by the natives and completely exploits them.  Kurtz tries to escape to the natives but Marlow catches him and takes him back to the steamboat head back for England.  While still on the river, Kurtz dies saying, The horror, the horror.  Marlow returns to England.  He visits Kurtzs intended who is still in mourning a year after Kurtzs death.  She still remembers Kurtz as the great man he was before he left, and Marlow doesnt tell her what he had become before he dies.  Marlow gives Kurtz her old letters and leaves.

Symbols

Shoes - These symbolize civilization and protection.

Ivory ... more

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america the beautiful or the ugly

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was the best known and most influential African American leader of the 1800s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in 1838.
He traveled to Massachusetts and settled in New Bedford, working as a laborer to support himself. In 1841, he attended a convention of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society and quickly came to the attention of its members, eventually becoming a leading figure in the New England antislavery movement.
In 1845, Douglass published his autobiography, "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave." With the revelation that he was an escaped slave, Douglass became fearful of possible re-enslavement and fled to Great Britain and stayed there for two years, giving lectures in support of the antislavery movement in America. With the assistance of English Quakers, Douglass raised enough money to buy his own his freedom and in 1847 he returned to America as a free man.
He settled in Rochester, New York, where he published The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He directed the local underground railroad which smuggled escaped slaves into Canada and also worked to end racial segregation in Rochester's public schools.
In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.
In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.

Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."
But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.
Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow ... more

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