Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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In Heart of Darkness, how does the station manager survive?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The station manager survives by being very careful not to take any action or make any decision that he might later have to take responsibility for or that might put him into any danger. In other words, he survives by abandoning any other moral values beyond personal survival.

For example, when the ship is caught in dense white fog going up the Congo and African natives are screaming and shrieking on the shores, the station manager abdicates all responsibility for making a decision about what to do. He piously states that they really need to get to Kurtz as fast as possible, but he openly puts the...

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alstah | Student

When Marlow first arrives, he discovers Kurtz is sick. The he also discovers the boat he is to take is grounded and need rivets. Marlow's trip to see Kurtz is delayed several times. Finally, as Marlow is leaving, he overhears a conversation between the station manager and his uncle. It seems the manager, who praised Kurtz to Marlow's face, really fears Kurtz's influence. The uncle replies that, hopefully, the climate will eventually beat Kurtz. The implication is that the manager has been delaying Marlow's voyage purposely to allow Kurtz to die without proper care.

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