As was mentioned in the previous post, the two women Marlow interacts with during his doctor's visit symbolize two of the three Fates found in Greek mythology. The Fates were personified as three old women who spun the threads of human destiny. Clotho is the name of the woman who spins the thread, Lachesis distributes the amount of thread, and Atropos determines the person's death by cutting the thread. Interestingly, only two of the three Fates are represented in Marlow's visit to the doctor. Marlow recalls seeing a younger nurse introduce the arriving men, while the older nurse gives the men quick glances of "unconcerned wisdom." These nurses give Marlow an uneasy feeling and he mentions,
"Often far away there I thought of these two, guarding the door of Darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall, one introducing, introducing continuously to the unknown, the other scrutinizing the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned old eyes" (Conrad, 15).
According to Greek mythology, the Fates represented various stages in one's life. However, Conrad only represents the youngest and oldest Fate in the scene at the doctor's office. This leaves the significant question as to why the third Fate, possibly the middle-aged one, is missing from the scene. The middle-aged Fate, Lachesis, represents life. Her possible absence suggests that Marlow's life has taken a turn for the worse.