As Marlow's boat is eight miles away from the inner station, he encounters a white fog. He describes the fog as "more blinding than the night," and he describes it descending around the ship as tightly as a shutter. It blocks out the land that surrounds the boat, and when Marlow and his crew hear people on the banks making loud noises, the crew fears that they will be slaughtered in the fog.
The white fog represents Marlow's blindness and the blindness of the other white Europeans who have come to the Congo in search of ivory. Just as the white fog obscures the banks, the whites who have come to Africa don't really understand the land or its people. Instead, they, like Marlow's boat, are stranded in the middle of the river, surrounded by fog, with a gulf of understanding between them and the local people.
The word fog occurs nine times in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness . All of the usages except for one...
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