“Those rebellious heads look very subdued to me on their sticks.”
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Hello Readers ❤
Today I have a quote for you today from one of my favorite books. Of course I read it for school as part of the AP English twelfth grade curriculum in preparation for my exam. And out of the 30 or so books I went through this one stuck with me the most and is now one of my favorites. I think it’s because of how shocking the overall experience was for me. Firstly, not shocking as in content. I was simply shocked at how much I enjoyed the read, because I was shocked by the prose and language used in the novel. The depiction of the content of this novel is what left me thinking. It couldn’t have been done better, and any other way wouldn’t have been as effective. Therefore this was the book I found most enjoyable, learned the most from, and keep going back to so I want to share my favorite quote.
Imagine, our protagonist Marlowe has just made it through the jungle and upon entering the settlement he finds that the natives of the jungle who have rebelled against imperialism have been beheaded and put on display to discourage such further rebellion. The above quote is his only thought on the matter before dismissing it. Just wow, right? Back to the shock factor here because that is why this line is memorable. The white men have done the most savage deed and Marlowe doesn’t state that but shows us by pointing out that the natives not only didn’t deserve it, but through the irony of the after effect. It was counter productive.
This line also capture the main theme and message of the novel. The book in its whole is a great work of social commentary but this line in particular I find really sticks it to the man. This is where the reader is taken out of the gray zone and shown not only the darkness of man, but the savagery of civilization.
The book is full of these one liners that really leave you thinking and have you second guessing more than once. I recommend, you pick this book up, even if you have already read it, and go through it on a rainy day. It’s a short read, but filled with history, psychology and poetry. It’s worth every second you put into it.