Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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In Heart of Darkness, what is the true nature of the "knobs" that Marlow describes?

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When Marlow arrives at Kurtz's station, the enthusiastic, charismatic Russian greets him and tells him rather unsettling details about the enigmatic, powerful Kurtz. After the Russian mentions that Kurtz almost shot him over a small lot of ivory that a local chief gave him, he proceeds to explain to Marlow how the tribe utterly adores and reveres Kurtz. While Marlow approaches the small hut with three windows, he sees several posts with what appear to be round knobs on the tops of them. As Marlow walks closer to the posts, he observes that the knobs are actually small, shrunken heads of tribal enemies, which have been...

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