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

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Section I Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Identify the people on the Nellie.

2. Why is it ironic that Marlow needs his aunt’s help to secure his appointment?

3. What happened to Fresleven, one of the Company’s captains?

4. How are the two women outside the secretary’s office symbolic?

5. Name two unusual procedures at Marlow’s physical exam.

6. How did the Swede die?

7. What is unique about the chief accountant’s appearance?

8. Why was the manager successful at his job?

9. Why does Marlow call some people on the boat “pilgrims”?

10. Why does Marlow need the brickmaker’s help?

1. A narrator, a company director, a lawyer, an accountant, and Marlow are aboard the Nellie.

2. It is ironic that Marlow needs his aunt’s help because she is a woman in a male-dominated world, the sea.

3. Fresleven was murdered by a native in a quarrel over black hens.

4. The women outside the secretary’s office knit black wool, the symbol of death.

5. The doctor measures Marlow’s head with calipers, and asks if there has been madness in his family.

6. The Swede hanged himself.

7. The chief accountant is neat and orderly.

8. The manager was successful because he was always healthy.

9. Marlow calls them “pilgrims” because they carry staves and their “pilgrimage” is to obtain ivory.

10. Marlow needs rivets from the brickmaker to repair the boat.

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Section II Questions and Answers