Black and white illustration of the outline of the upper part of a body with a river and boat in the background

Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad
Start Free Trial

Who is in the second station in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, there are three stations that Marlow visits on his trip through the Congo.

The second station is called the Central Station. It is at this location that Marlow is supposed to get his ship which will carry him to the third station (known as the Inner Station) to pick up Mr. Kurtz who has been in the interior of the jungle for an extremely long time. Rumor has it that he is ill, but no one has heard from him; the only way the Company still knows that he is alive is from the shipments of ivory that he continues to send back.

When Marlow reaches the Central Station, he meets the manager, the brickmaker, the manager's uncle and a mechanic whom he befriends; he also finds that his ship in under water. Another (junior) skipper had ripped the bottom of the ship open on the rocky bottom of the river and it sank. In order to continue his journey, Marlow will have to repair it, which he expects will take several months. He finds some difficulty getting parts to complete his task: he continues to order rivets, but the orders are, mysteriously, never filled. Eventually Marlow enlists the help of one of the mechanics (formerly a boiler-maker, a widow with six children), and although the rivets take their time arriving, they eventually show up.

Marlow is able to complete the repairs to his ship and resume his journey to find and retrieve Mr. Kurtz.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team