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Heart of Darkness | Study Guide

Joseph Conrad

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Course Hero. "Heart of Darkness Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 9 June 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Heart of Darkness Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from

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Course Hero. "Heart of Darkness Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed June 9, 2023.


Course Hero, "Heart of Darkness Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed June 9, 2023,

Heart of Darkness | Part Summaries

See Part Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

Part Summaries Chart

Part Summary
Part 1 (Framing the Story) As Heart of Darkness opens, five friends sit on a yacht, waiting for the tide to change on England's Thames River so the... Read More
Part 1 (Marlow Seeks a Position) Marlow travels to the continent to seek a job with the Company. His aunt knows someone who works for the Company and is ... Read More
Part 1 (Journey to the Outer Station) Marlow leaves for Africa on a French steamer that stops at ports along the African coast. At one point the steamer encou... Read More
Part 1 (At the Central Station) Marlow makes a 200-mile (500-kilometer) trek to the Central Station with one white man and almost 60 African men. He is ... Read More
Part 2 (The Manager and His Uncle) One night, as Marlow rests by lying down on the deck of the steamer, he overhears the station manager and his uncle talk... Read More
Part 2 (Traveling up the River) The steamer is finally repaired, and Marlow takes it up the river. It takes two months to reach the Inner Station. As he... Read More
Part 2 (Attack on the Steamer) About eight miles (20 kilometers) from Marlow's destination at the Inner Station, the manager wants to stop moving until... Read More
Part 2 (At the Inner Station) The steamer arrives at the Inner Station in disrepair, and Marlow sees a young man dressed as a harlequin urging them to... Read More
Part 3 (Harlequin in the Jungle) Marlow is puzzled, confused, and disoriented as he looks at the Russian. The young man's clothes are covered with patche... Read More
Part 3 (Encountering Kurtz) Kurtz arrives on a stretcher. He is ill, but his voice is strong. Warriors appear from the jungle carrying weapons, and ... Read More
Part 3 (Return Downriver and Kurtz's Death) At noon the next day, Marlow pilots the steamer away from the station while more than a thousand native people watch the... Read More
Part 3 (Return to Brussels) Marlow muses on the meaning of life and how a person might summarize his life when he is at death's door. He returns to ... Read More
Part 3 (Meeting Kurtz's Intended) In the year following Kurtz's death, Marlow decides to return his letters and the photograph to Kurtz's "Intended"—his f... Read More
Part 3 (Completing the Frame) In the novella's final movement, the small group of Marlow's listeners are still waiting on the Thames for the river's c... Read More
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