Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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What is a good quotation from Heart of Darkness with both a psychoanalytical and feminist interpretation?

One quotation from Heart of Darkness that can be interpreted both by psychoanalytical and feminist perspectives begins "It's queer how out of touch with truth women are." In this passage, Marlow implies that only men can fully understand or handle what is true. According to him, women are too beautiful or too optimistic but also must be protected from "the horrors" of man. At the story's end, Marlow also "protects" Kurtz's intended by lying to her about Kurtz's last words.

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At the end of the novel, Marlow meets with Kurtz's betrothed. She speaks of "understanding" Kurtz, but it is clear she has built up a false, worshipful, heroic vision of him as a fine leader, inspiring men with his goodness of character. She wants his memory—as she perceives it—to live on and demands to know his last words. Marlow feels a chill, and later a desire to cry out the truth to her that her beloved's last words were "the horror," but instead lies:

The last word he pronounced was—your name.

I heard a light sigh, and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. 'I knew it—I was sure!' . . . She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping; she had hidden her face in her hands. It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle. Would they have fallen, I wonder, if...

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