Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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In "Heart of Darkness, who said, "Because the method is unsound"?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Part Three, Kurtz begins yelling at the manager and accusing him of trying to steal his ivory instead of curing his illness as the steamboat sails away from his post. As Kurtz is lying incapacitated, he also begins threatening the manager for interfering with his plans. The manager then walks out and takes Marlow aside to share some important information with him. The manager proceeds to tells Marlow that they have done all they could for Kurtz at the moment and believes that Kurtz has done the Company more harm than good. Marlow continues to listen as the manager comments that the entire district is now closed to the Company for the time being but does not deny that the ivory trade will suffer as a result of Kurtz's absence. The manager also tells Marlow that they must save the buried ivory (fossil) if they can. He says, "We must save it, at all events—but look how precarious the position is—and why? Because the method is unsound" (Conrad, 104). The manager is aware that Kurtz attained his ivory through violent, unscrupulous means, which is why he considers Kurtz's methods "unsound."

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The station manager says this while trying to discredit Kurtz. He calls his methods for gathering ivory for the company unsound and lacking judgment. Although the manager doesn't "deny there is a remarkable quantity of ivory—mostly fossil." He adds, " We must save it, at all events—but look how precarious the position is—and why? Because the method is unsound." Marlow is not impressed and the station manager then tries to make Marlow "unsound".

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