In the novel,  Heart Of Darkness, what are some difficulties and obstacles which must be overcome to attain the goal?I read the book, and I cant understand it. I only know there are elephant tusks...

In the novel,  Heart Of Darkness, what are some difficulties and obstacles which must be overcome to attain the goal?

I read the book, and I cant understand it. I only know there are elephant tusks in the ship and the company wants them. And  I know the protagonist is Marlow.

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Marlow's initial goal is simply to pilot a steamboat on the Congo River; however, once he arrives in Africa, he discovers that his goal is to travel to the Inner Station and bring out Kurtz, the most successful station manager, who is ill. Ivory, which comes from elephant tusks, is what the company seeks. I'm not sure what you mean by "elephant trunk in the ship." Kurtz has gathered more ivory than any other agent for the company.

To reach Kurtz, Marlow must overcome a number of obstacles, including a 200-mile trek by foot overland accompanied by natives, some of whom abandon him; the discovery that his steamboat has been sunk (he suspects the manager of the Central Station aims to prevent Kurtz's rescue so that this manager can be promoted to Kurtz's position) and he must wait for weeks for the rivets he needs to repair the boat; an attack by natives orchestrated by Kurtz, who doesn't want to go home; the disturbing discovery that Kurtz has been tainted with evil and participated in "unspeakable rites" with the natives who virtually worship him; and ultimately Kurtz's death on the boat shortly after they leave the Inner Station. Then Marlow is faced with the dilemma of whether to tell Kurtz's Intended (his fiancee) the truth about how he changed while living in Africa, a particularly tough choice for Marlow who "hates a lie."

In the course of his journey, Marlow learns a great deal about human nature and about himself. Although the novel's title may refer to the Congo in Africa, it can also be applied to the heart of man, who carries the potential for evil, as Marlow finds out. Almost everyone that Marlow meets during his journey is tainted with some degree of moral corruption, whether it is seen in racism, cruelty, greed, or indifference.

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