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I think the heart of the matter refers to the fact that on the outside Scobie seems to be an upright man until the end, however if one digs inside his character there are contrasting views
i think the heart of the matter means the materialistic heart..scoobie does everything for his materialistic aims.however he confesses every sin but he keeps on doing so because the temptation of evil is stronger than the goodness..however when he realises his faults he repents for his sin and commits suicide because he thinks it is the only way to get rid of this heart of the matter.
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