journey into the dark summary

journey into the dark summary - Plot Summary "Journey into...

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Plot Summary "Journey into a Dark Heart" begins by introducing David Rehn, a young Dane (citizen of Denmark), who is attending the 1929 dedication of a new railway line. The railway runs from the western coast of Africa in Cabinda through the Belgian Congo and deep into the heart of the continent. The dedication includes many representatives of royalty and international business, and the grand display reinforces David's view that European civilization is indeed great. David has come to this event as a fluke, having acquired a position with a global trading company after he gave up his lifelong pursuit of mathematics. David had always relied on the stability of mathematics to get him through any emotional crisis until one year earlier, when he met Kurt Gödel, a mathematician whose ideas were bound to shake up the world of mathematics. With his passion for mathematics threatened by these new ideas, David abandoned mathematics. Despite his rejection of mathematics as a career, David is fascinated by the construction of the railway, which he sees in quantitative terms such as the number of workers and length of railroad track. During the dinner, everybody is in joyful spirits over the completion of the railway. This good mood intensifies when the Belgian king announces that, according to an English journalist who will be going on the train trip the next day, European forces have defeated the African rebel bands who have impeded the construction in the past. In addition, Lueni, the feared African leader, has been killed, and his body is to be shipped to Cabinda. The next afternoon, the various delegates, including David, prepare to take the first train trip ever from Cabinda to Katanga. David ends up in a train car with three others: a distinguished soldier, a black servant girl, and the elderly white man whom she serves. The old man, who is the English journalist who told the Belgian king about the death of Lueni, introduces himself as Joseph Korzeniowski. This is the actual birth name of Joseph Conrad, an author famous for his stories about colonial regions like the Congo, which were largely based on his own travels. Joseph K. hints that he has made the journey into the Congo before, and, by virtue of this experience, declares himself the host of the train car, saying that they should make this trip an open and honest journey. David introduces himself as a mathematician, thus realizing that he has not given up on his passion totally. The German soldier, who is covered in medals indicating his military valor, introduces himself as General Paul von Lettow Voerbeck. This name is a slight variation from the real-life name of Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, a German military official famous for his defense of German colonies in Africa during World War I. Joseph K. refers to the books that the general has written, which have reinforced the
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This note was uploaded on 09/04/2010 for the course CHEM 10966 taught by Professor Vollhardt during the Spring '10 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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journey into the dark summary - Plot Summary "Journey into...

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