Passage Analysis. “The Nellie, a cruising yawl…”. Who is on board? What do we know about our narrator?. HW for Tuesday 11/27. Read from “He was the only man of us who still ‘followed the sea’” (18) up to ‘I got my appointment—of course; and I got it very quick” (23)
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What will we, as listeners of his story, need to do in order to fully understand the meaning? And, how is his manner of conveying meaning appropriate to the description we get of Marlow at the start?
Now analyze it…how does the diction and syntax convey Marlow’s feeling?
"... And from right to left along the lighted shore moved a wild and gorgeous apparition of a woman. 'She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high; her hair was done in the shape of a helmet; she had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her neck; bizarre things, charms, gifts of witchmen, that hung about her, glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her, pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul'” (99/75-76).
“I confounded the beat of the drum with the beating of my heart, and was pleased at its calm regularity” (105/81)
What does this suggest? How might this explain Marlow’s line, “I did not betray Mr. Kurtz – it was ordered I should never betray him – it was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice. I was anxious to deal with this shadow by myself alone…” (104-105/80) [emphasis mine]. What else do you notice in this last quote?
“The great wall of vegetation, an exuberant and entangled mass of trunks, branches, leaves, boughs, festoons, motionless in the moonlight, was like a rioting invasion of soundless life, a rolling wave of plants, piled up, crested, ready to topple over the creek, to sweep every little man of us out of his little existence” (54/36).
Now analyze it…what is going on and how does it support the ideas presented in the book?