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Literature Study GuidesHeart Of DarknessPart 3 Completing The Frame Summary

Heart of Darkness | Study Guide

Joseph Conrad

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Part 3: Completing The Frame

Kristen Over, Associate Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Part 3: Completing The Frame of Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness.

Heart of Darkness | Part 3 (Completing the Frame) | Summary



In the novella's final movement, the small group of Marlow's listeners are still waiting on the Thames for the river's current to change. Marlow sits quietly. The others are silent too. The river, the original narrator says in closing the novella, "seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness."


The brief, final section, merely one paragraph long, concludes the novella by completing the frame story. The mood is quiet. The Director of Companies notes that they have "lost the first of the ebb," the tide that flows away from the shore, the best time for sailing. The comment indicates how fascinated Marlow's listeners were with his story—there was no thought of the friends stopping him during his account and beginning their cruise. The narrator's closing words once again link the Thames River and Britain—and thus all of Europe—to the darkness of barbarity.

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