02 January 2008

Macbeth Questions

Questions for MacBeth:
1.11. What is the effect of beginning the play with the witches? Whom are the witches going to meet, and when? Notice the language of lines 10-11 and watch for it later in the play.

  • It gives the play a sense of foreboding. They are going to meet Macbeth when the battle is over.

1.21. What do we learn about and from the "bloody Captain" (1.2.1-44)? Who is Macdonwald and what has he done? What has been done to him and by whom? Did that end the problem with rebels (1.2.29-34)?

  • We learn what is happening in the battle. Macdonwald is a rebel who is supported by Irish soldiers. He has been slain by Macbeth. No, it didn't end the problems because the Norwegian king started an attack on them.

2. What do we learn from Ross and Angus (1.2.45-62)? Who was the traitor in this different revolt? What does King Duncan say about the traitor and about his title (1.2.63-65)?

* we learn that Macbeth has defeated the Norwegians. The traitor this time is the thane of Cawdor. Duncan says the traitor will be executed and Macbeth gets his title.

1.31. What is the effect of what the witches tell each other in 1.3.1-27)? What is the effect of the specifics they tell? Are these details important to the plot of the play? Why are they here? What does the First Witch mean by line 9? Keep the line in mind; "do" is an important word in this play. How do the witches prepare for Macbeth's arrival, and what do they say (1.3.28-35)?

2. Does Macbeth's first line (1.3.36) remind you of anything we have heard before? What do the witches look like (1.3.37-45)? What do they tell Macbeth (1.3.46-48). What happens to Macbeth then? How do we know? (See 1.3.49-55.) What does Banquo ask the witches and what do they tell him (1.3.55-67; notice the paradoxes in 1.3.63-65, similar in structure to 1.1.10-11 and 1.3.36). What do we know that Macbeth doesn't know in 1.3.68-76)?

*Yes, it reminds me of the beginning of the play when all the witches say "fair is foul, and foul is fair." The witches are withered looking and crazyly dressed and they have beards. They tell Macbeth that he is to be future king and is the thane of Cawdor. Macbeth becomes startled and frightened we know this because he isn't talking. Banquo asks the witches what will happen in his future and they tell him that he wont be king, but his children will be. We know how Macbeth is the thane of Cawdor.

3. How does Banquo explain the witches (1.3.77-78)? What does Macbeth learn from Ross and Angus (1.3.87-114)? What is Macbeth doing in lines 114-156? Note where he is speaking to himself, where he is speaking only to Banquo, and where he is speaking to everyone. How is Macbeth reacting to what the witches have said and to what Ross and Angus have said? Read Banquo's speech in lines 120-125 carefully for a statement related to the themes of the play. Then read Macbeth's speech at 1.3.126-141 carefully. What is he saying? What is he beginning to think about? Notice an echo of the paradox of "fair is foul" in lines 140-141.

* Banquo says the witches must have come from a bubble in the earth. Macbeth learns that the king wants to see him to give him the title of thane of Cawdor and that the old thane was killed. Macbeth is thinking about murdering the king. He's in a daze and having a bunch of conflicting thoughts. Macbeth is talking about how he would be king.

4. How does Macbeth explain his behavior (1.3.148-149)? How much of his thought does he plan to share with Banquo (1.3.152-154)?

* Macbeth says he was distracted. He plans to share some only when they've had time to think.

1.41. How did Cawdor die (1.4.1-11)? How does the King respond (1.4.11-14)? Keep these lines in mind.

* Cawdor confessed to his treasons and repented he threw away his life. The king says that he trusted Cawdor completely and that you can't read a man's mind by looking at his face.

2. How does the King greet Macbeth and Banquo (1.4.14-35)? Note the imagery of planting and growing. What announcement does the King make in lines 35-42? (Prince of Cumberland is the title of the Scottish heir apparent, like Prince of Wales for the English.) Where does the King intend to go (1.4.42-47)? How does he react in his aside to the King's announcement of his heir (1.4.48-53)? What is going on in Macbeth's mind?

* The king says that giving Macbeth the title he is starting his career and Banquo deserves no less than Macbeth. The king announced that he is going to bestow his kingdom on his eldest son. The king intends to go to Macbeth's castle. Macbeth is upset because now there is an obstacle in his way to becoming king. Macbeth still plans on killing the king.

1.51. Has Macbeth reported accurately to his wife (1.5.1-12)? How does she respond? Read her speech in lines 13-28 carefully. How does she describe Macbeth? Does this match what we have seen of him?

* He hasn't reported accurately because he never mentioned that he planned to kill the king. She worries if he has what it takes to sieze the crown. She describes Macbeth as being to full of human kindness, he doesn't have a mean streak, and he wants things to be done for him. Not really because he

2. How does Lady Macbeth respond to the news that the King is coming? Read her speech in lines 36-52 carefully. What does she intend to do? What does she have to do to herself to let that happen?

* Lady Macbeth doesn't believe it because she didn't even get time to prepare. She intends to kill the king. She has to become more like a man and become full of cruelty.

3. Who is in charge when Macbeth arrives (1.5.52-71)? Has Lady Macbeth decided what to do? Has Macbeth? What does she tell him to do, and what will she herself do?

* Lady Macbeth is in charge. She had decided what to do. No, Macbeth hasn't. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to project a peaceful mood so as not to look suspicious and she will handle all the preparations.

4. What is Lady Macbeth's name? (A trick question-it's not in the play. But historical sources tell us her name was Gruoch and that she had a son by a previous marriage, named Lulach. See the Bedford Texts and Contexts edition of Macbeth, p. 128, with no source given there.)

* Lady Macbeth's name is Gruoch.

1.61. Read the opening speeches (1.6.1-10) carefully, noting the imagery. How honest is Lady Macbeth's welcome (1.6.10-31)?

* Her welcome isn't honest because she is planning on having macbeth kill him.

1.71. Read Macbeth's soliloquy in 1.7.1-28 carefully. Notice the repetition of "done" in lines 1-2. How ready is Macbeth to kill the King? What is he worried about in lines 1-12? What special rules of hospitality is Macbeth violating (lines 12-16)? What motivation does Macbeth attribute to himself (lines 25-28)?

* Macbeth isn't ready at all. He's worried about the consequences of committing murder. He's violating the rule that the host is supposed to shut the door on murders. His motivation is ambition.

2. What is Lady Macbeth complaining about in lines 28-30? What does Macbeth then say, and how does Lady Macbeth reply? Read their discussion in lines 31-82 carefully to see what positions each holds and what means each uses to convince the other? Who is the stronger person in this scene?

* Lady Macbeth is complaining about how the king has almost finished dinner and Macbeth left. Macbeth replies by asking if the king has asked for him and lady Macbeth responds by saying don't you know he has. Macbeth uses guilt and honor and Lady Macbeth uses insults toward Macbeth. lady Macbeth is the stronger person.


2.11. What is the purpose of the opening of 2.1 (lines 1-9)? Notice the references to time (lines 1-3), and think about the other references to time so far in the play (1.1.1-5; 1.3.56, 146, and 152; 1.5.8 and 56-62; 1.7.51 and 81). What is the function of the discussion about the witches in 2.1.20-29?

* The purpose of that opening is the fact that the king is to be murdered at night. The function of the discussion about the witches is that everything they said is about to come true.

2. Read Macbeth's soliloquy in 2.1.33-64 carefully. What is happening to him? How does he explain it? What will he do about it? Notice references to time in line59 and to deeds and done in lines 61-62.

* Macbeth is starting to see hallucinations. He explains it as the murder that he's about to commit getting to him. He will murder the king because the bell told him to.

2.21. What is Lady Macbeth's state of mind in her soliloquy (2.2.1-13)? What has she done? What does she assume Macbeth is now doing? Why didn't she do it (lines 12-13)?

* Lady Macbeth's state of mind is paranoid. She had given the servants a bunch of drugs in their drinks. she assumes Macbeth is killing the king. she couldn't do it herself because the king reminded her of her father.

2. What deed has Macbeth done (2.2.14)? What is Macbeth worried about in lines 17-31? How does Lady Macbeth respond (lines 31-32)? Notice the heavy emphasis on the murdering of sleep in lines 33-41. What problem arises in line 46? How is it solved? Keep lines 44-45, 58-61, and 65 about washing in mind for later in the play.

* Murder is the deed Macbeth has done. He's worried because he couldn't say amen. Lady Macbeth tells him not to worry about it much. The problem is that Macbeth didn't leave the bloody daggers. It's solved because lady Macbeth is going to take the daggers and cover the servants in blood.

2.31. What does the porter pretend to be doing? Notice the emphasis on equivocation in this speech and in the following dialogue with Macduff. Equivocation was a doctrine espoused by Jesuits living secretly in England (and in danger of arrest, torture, and death) that allowed them to swear oaths with double meanings in order to preserve their lives while also maintaining their faith but that looked to their opponents very much like lying under oath. Equivocation had recently been much discussed because of the trials surrounding the Gunpowder Plot of November 1605, a Catholic attempt to blow up Parliament while the members and the King were present. Watch how the idea of equivocation functions in the play.

* The porter pretends to be the gatekeeper of hell answering the door for those going to hell for their crimes.

2. What is the thematic function of Lennox's conversation with Macbeth about the unruly night (lines 50-59). What is the theatrical function of the scene? Why does something need to be here?

3. What news does Macduff report at line 59? How do Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respond? What does Macbeth report in lines 103-104 that he did? What do Malcolm and Donalbain decide to do and why (lines 116-121 and 131-142)? Where will they go? What do they seem to expect will happen if they don't leave?

* Macduff reports that the king has been murdered. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth act surprised and that the event shook them up. Macbeth says that he killed the servants in a greif striken rage. The two decide to leave before the dagger can strike again. Malcolm is going to England and Donalbain is going to Ireland. They expect that if they don't leave the dagger will strike them too.

2.41. What is the function of the dialogue between the Old Man and Ross (lines 1-20)? What do we learn from Macduff about Malcolm and Donalbain? About Macbeth? Where has Macbeth gone? Where will Macduff go? (Macbeth was historically a member of the royal family; his mother and Duncan's mother were sisters, daughters of Duncan's predecessor as king; both Duncan and Macbeth were historically about the same age. Duncan ruled from 1034 to 1040 and Macbeth from 1040 to 1057.) Notice that many of the key words and ideas we have been tracing appear in this scene.

* The function of the dialogue between the old man and Ross is to give the murder a bigger sense of evil unjustice. we learn that Malcolm and Donalbain are the kings two sons and have fled making them the prime suspects. Macbeth is going to be crowned king and has gone to scone. Macduff is going to Fife.


3.11. How does Banquo react to Macbeth's being King (3.1.1-10)? What does he suspect has happened to Duncan?

* Banquo responds by saying how Macbeth has it all and he suspects that Macbeth cheated and killed Duncan.

2. What does Macbeth learn from Banquo in lines 19-38? Why does he want to know it? What does he say about Malcolm and Donalbain in lines 31-34?

* Macbeth learns that Banquo is going riding. He wants to know if he'll be their for the feast. Macbeth says that they are the murderers and have been making up lies about it to their hosts.

3. Read Macbeth's soliloquy in 3.1.49-73 carefully. What is bothering Macbeth?

* Macbeth is bothered by the fact that Banquo is so noble.

4. How does Macbeth get the two murderers to agree to kill Banquo? Has he told them the truth about Banquo and himself? What has brought the murderers to be willing to do a deed like this?

* Macbeth gets the murderers to agree by saying that Banquo is the enemy and the one making their lives horrible. No, he hasn't because they are actually friends. The murderers agree because they are angry and have nothing to lose.

3.21. How much does Macbeth tell Lady Macbeth about his fears? How much does he tell her about what he plans to do? Does she know as much as we know at this point?

* Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that he rather be dead then live with the nightmares. Macbeth tells her that Banquo needs to be murdered. No, because she doesn't know that Macbeth hired hit men and is going to have Banquo's son killed also.

3.31. How do the two murderers respond to the third one? How does the third one explain his presence?

* The two murderers trust the third murderer easily because they have the same mission. Third one explains his presense with one word.

2. How successful is their mission?

* It's only half successful because they killed Banquo but his son got away.

3.41. During the banquet, what does Macbeth learn from the First Murderer (3.4.11-31)? How does that affect Macbeth's participation in the banquet?

* Macbeth learns that Fleance has escaped. Macbeth isn't entertaining his guests.

2. What appears at 3.4.36? Who can see it? What "trick" does it play on Macbeth (3.2.36-46)? How does Macbeth respond? How does Lady Macbeth explain his response to him? To the guests? What does Macbeth find strange (3.4.74-82)? What happens to the banquet?

* Banquo's ghost appears. Macbeth can only see it. The ghost shakes his head at Macbeth and he tells it to go ahead. Lady Macbeth say that Macbeth has convolsions all the time since he was a child and to ignore him. Macbeth finds it strange that the dead can rise again. The banquet is ruined by Macbeth's outbursts and they all leave.

3. Who is the next problem person mentioned (3.2.127-129)? How well does Macbeth trust his followers (3.4.130-131)? Where will he go tomorrow and what does he want to find out (3.4.131-134)? How does Lady Macbeth diagnose his infirmity (3.2.140)?3.51. What is Hecate's complaint to the witches? What does she tell them to do? What will happen tomorrow? Where?

* Macduff is the next problem person. He doesn't trust them at all because he has spies in every lord's home. He's going to go see the witches to find out what bad stuff is going to happen. That he needs sleep. Hecate's complaint is that the witches gave Macbeth riddles and prophecies about his future without telling her. she tells them to go and get their cauldrons, spells, charms, and everything else. Hecate is going to produce magical spirits that will trick Macbeth. This will happen in the pit by the river in Hell.

3.61. Why is Lennox talking in such an indirect way to the other lord? What is Lennox trying to tell him? What might he be trying to learn about him?

* Lennox is doing that because he wants to know about Malcolm. He's trying to tell the lord that Macbeth is going to have Macduff killed. He's trying to learn what side the lord is on.

2. What has happened to Macduff?

* Macduff isn't returning to scotland.

3. What is the function of this scene in the play?

* The function is to show that people and planning to overthrow Macbeth.


4.11. How many witches appear in this scene?

* Three witches appear in this scene.

2. What messages does Macbeth get from the witches and their apparitions? Does he feel safe after the first three apparitions? Should he? How does he feel after the fourth, the line of kings?

* First message was to beware of Macduff and the thane of Fife, second for him to be violent, bold, and firm while laughing at the power of other men, third to be brave and not fear anything until the Birnam wood marches to battle. Yes, he feels safe but he shouldn't because they are tricking him. After the fourth he is upset and angry.

3. What does Macbeth learn from Lennox at line 158? What does he plan to do about it?

*Macbeth learns that Macduff has fled to england. Macbeth plans to raid Macduff's caslte and kill his wife and children.

4.21. What is Lady Macduff's reaction to her husband's departure for England (4.2.1-30).

* She thinks that Macduff doesn't love her or their children.

2. What is the function of the scene between Lady Macduff and her son (4.2.30-64)?

3. What happens to Lady Macduff and her son?

* Lady Macduff gets away while her son was killed.

4.31. What do we know at the beginning of the scene that Macduff doesn't know?

* We know that his wife is still alive.

2. What is the main issue between Malcolm and Macduff in the first part of the scene (4.3.1-32)? Why might Malcolm be suspicious of Macduff? How does Macduff respond (4.3.32-38)? What changes when Macduff starts to leave at line 35?

* The main issue is that the homeland has fallen. Malcolm is suspicious because he thinks Macduff is going to betray him in Macbeth's favor. Macduff tells him that he isn't treacherous.

3. What does Malcolm say about himself, and how does Macduff respond (lines 38-115)? What bothers Macduff more in a king, lust or avarice? Why does this character of Malcolm's surprise Macduff (lines 106-112)? (Malcolm's mother was the daughter of the Old Siward mentioned in line 135, which might explain why he is helping. The description of his mother sounds more like St. Margaret of Scotland, who in fact was later this Malcolm's wife.)

* Malcolm says that Macbeth compared to him looks like an angel. Macduff says that you couldn't find a worse devil than Macbeth. Avarice bugs Macduff more because you can't out grow it. It surprises him because he finally sees what a horrible man Malcolm is.

4. How does this threat to leave by Macduff change Malcolm's story? What is Malcolm's explanation for his behavior (lines 115-133)? What was Malcolm about to do when Macduff arrived (lines 134-138)?

* Malcolm's story changes completely everything he said was a lie now. His explaination is that he wasn't sure he could trust Macduff. Malcolm was about to have siward over.

5. What is the purpose of the discussion of King Edward's healing powers? How does this compare to the present King of Scotland in the play? Note lines 155-157: King James, who was from Scotland and who as a Stuart was considered one of those descendants of Banquo, had recently revived this practice when the play was written, which gives another reason for including it in the play.

* It compares him to Macbeth who is tainting the land while Edward heals it.

6. What message does Ross bring? How long does it take for him to tell it? How does Macduff respond? Note lines 214-217: Who "has no children"? We assume he means Macbeth, but could he mean Malcolm, who is perhaps too hasty in telling him to "Be comforted"? Notice the mentions of "man" in lines 221-223 and 237 and compare the use of the word earlier in the play (as at 1.7.46-51 abd 72-74; 3.1.92-102; and 3.4.57, 72, 98, and 107). What does it mean to be a "man" in this play?

* Ross tells them that Scotland is the land where all will die. It takes him a paragraph to tell it. Macduff says that it was so poetic but sounds so true. To be a man means to be violent, ambitious, and full of vengence.

7. What are Malcolm, Macduff, and Ross ready to do at the end of the scene?

* They are all ready to kill Macbeth.


5.11. What has the gentlewoman seen Lady Macbeth do (5.1.1-15)? Why won't she tell the Doctor what Lady Macbeth said?

* She has seen lady Macbeth sleepwalking. She wont tell the doctor what she heard because no one else was there.

2. What does Lady Macbeth reveal in her sleepwalking speeches and actions (5.1.23-58)? To what does the Doctor relate this in 5.1.61-69? What is he suggesting in lines 66-67?

* Lady Macbeth reveals that she played a part in king Duncan's murder. The doctor relates it to having a diesease. He suggests that she needs to see a priest because of her guilty conscience.

5.21. Where are the soldiers heading in 5.2? Whose side are they on? What do the mentions of Birnam Wood (line 5) and Dunsinane (line 12) remind us of?

*The soldiers are heading to Birnam woods and are on Malcolm's side. They remind me of what the apparitions told Macbeth about.

5.31. What reports are the servants bringing to Macbeth (5.3.1)? Why does Macbeth say he is not afraid? What does he think about himself in lines 20-29?

* They tell him that there are ten thousand soldiers and the thanes are deserting Macbeth. He says he isn't afraid because they are all born of a woman. Macbeth thinks that he is sick at heart and his life is withering away.

2. What does the Doctor say about Lady Macbeth (lines 39-46)? What does Macbeth wish the Doctor could do (lines 52-58)?

* The doctor says that Lady Macbeth is troubled with endless visions that lays keep her from sleeping. Macbeth wishes that the doctor could cure his country.

5.41. What does Malcolm tell the soldiers to do (5.4.4-7)? What effect do you expect this to have on Macbeth?

* Malcolm tells the soldiers to grab branches and conceal themselves so Macbeth's spies wont know how many are really there. Macbeth will probably freak because the forest is moving.

5.51. What does "the cry of women" signify (, 15)? Read Macbeth's famous speech in lines 16-27 carefully. What is he saying? How does he feel about life at this point?

* The cry of women signigies the death of the queen. Macbeth is saying that the days are bringing everyone closer to death. He feels that life is nothing more than an illusion.

2. What news does the messenger bring in lines 28-33? How does Macbeth react to this news? What does he now think of the witches (lines 40-46)? (Notice the return of "equivocation" in line 41.) Yet what is his mood at the end of the scene (lines 49-50)? Will he go out with a whimper?

* The messenger tells Macbeth that Birnam forest is moving. Macbeth gets angry and calls him a liar. Macbeth now is starting to doubt teh witches. At the end of the scene he kinda want sto die. No, he 's going to die with his armor on.

5.61. What do we learn in this scene? Why are Siward and his son mentioned?

We learn that the battle is going to begin. Siward and his son are mentioned because one of them is going to die.

5.71. What is Macbeth's attitude at the beginning of the scene (lines 1-4)? What happens in his encounter with Young Siward?

* Macbeth is afraid of nobody except the man not born of a woman. Macbeth kills Young Siward.

5.8 (5.7 continues in most editions)1. Who is Macduff looking for and why (lines 1-10)?

* Macduff is looking for Macbeth so that he can kill him to put his family's spirits at rest.

5.9 (5.7 continues in most editions)1. How is it that Malcolm and Siward are able to enter the castle so easily (lines 1-6)?

* They enter so easily because their enemy truely isn't trying to beat them.

5.10 (5.8 in most editions)1. What unwished-for information does Macduff have for Macbeth (lines 1-16)? How does Macbeth respond? What will happen if he doesn't fight? Why does he fight?

* Macduff tells Macbeth that he was cut out of his mother's stomach and was not born naturally. Macbeth says he wont fight. If he doesn't fight they're gonna put him in a freakshow. He fights because he refuses to kiss the ground Malcolm walks on and being taunted be the common folk.

5.11 (5.8 continues in most editions)1. How upset is Siward at his son's death? Why?

* Siward isn't upset at all because his son died honorably.

2. What does Malcolm promise his followers (lines 26-41)? What does he tell us about Lady Macbeth's death (line 36-37)? Should we believe him? (He is her enemy, after all-but remember the Doctor's instructions in 5.1.66-67.)

* Malcolm promises his followers to be named earls. He tells us that Lady Macbeth committed suicide. Yeah, he's believable because Lady Macbeth's guilt probably got to her and she killed herself.

26 November 2007

Things Fall Apart

Chapter One:
Note how Achebe immediately establishes his perspective from inside Umuofia (which is Ibo for "people of the forest") in the first sentence. The wider world consists of the group of nine related villages which comprise Umuofia and certain other villages like Mbaino. What are Okonkwo's main characteristics as he is depicted in the first few chapters? List as many as you can, being as specific as possible. What were the characteristics of his father which affect him so powerfully?

He is a fierce wrestler. He is tall and huge, with an even bigger temper. When he gets angry he's uses violence instead of words. His father was poor and in debt. He doesn't like war and bloodshed, but loves music.

Kola is a stimulant, comparable to very strong tea or coffee, which is served on most social occasions in this culture. It is also one ingredient after which Coca Cola is named. Note how the ritual for sharing kola is described without being explained. Why do you think Achebe does this? He will continue to introduce Ibo customs in this fashion throughout the novel.

Achebe probably does this so that the ritual will have more of an effective importance like it's something casual and everyday not just another thing to learn about and that needs some huge boring explanation.

One becomes influential in this culture by earning titles. As with the Potlatch Indians of our region and many other peoples, this is an expensive proposition which involves the dispersing most of one's painfully accumulated wealth. What do you think are the social functions of such a system?

That the wealthy show off there wealth by throwing parties and giving the money to family and in-laws.

One of the most famous lines in the novel is "proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten." What does this mean? Palm oil is a rich yellow oil pressed from the fruit of certain palm trees and used both for fuel and cooking. Look for other proverbs as you read. Cowry shells threaded on strings were traditionally used as a means of exchange by many African cultures. The villages' distance from the sea makes them sufficiently rare to serve as money. Cowries from as far away as Southeast Asia have been found in sub-Saharan Africa.

It means that proverbs are what is drunk along with what is said.

Chapter Two
What effect does night have on the people? What do they fear? How do they deal with their fear of snakes at night? Palm-wine is a naturally fermented product of the palm-wine tree, a sort of natural beer. What is the cause and nature of the conflict with Mbaino? Beginning with this chapter, trace how women are related to the religious beliefs of the people. What is the purpose of the taking of Ikemefuna? Note how Achebe foreshadows the boy's doom even as he introduces him.

The night brings terror to the people. They fear the evil spirits and the dangerous animals. They call the snakes string. The people of Mboino murdered a woman from Umuofia. The purpose of taking Ikemefuna is to use him how ever Umuofia wants and then to kill him.

In what ways does Okonkwo overcompensate for his father's weaknesses? In what ways is he presented as unusual for his culture? What is his attitude toward women? Why does he dislike his son Nwoye so much?
In this polygamous culture each household is enclosed in a compound. Each wife lives in a hut with her children, and the husband visits each wife in turn, though he has his own hut as well. Children are often cared for more or less communally. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages of this form of social structure are?

Okonkwo isn't afraid of war and bloodshed and was the first person in Umuofia's latest war to bring home a human head, making it his fifth. He is unusaul because he hates everything to do with his father and fears being like him. He feels that women are weak and need to be ruled with a heavy hand. He dislikes his son, Nwoye, because he is lazy. The advantages are that each wife and her children had there own little place to live and isn't crowded by the other wives and their children. The disadvantages are that one hut might not get as much attention because the father feels less for them.

What seems to be Achebe's attitude toward this culture so far? Is his depicting it as an ideal one? Can you cite any passages which imply a critical attitude?

That they are very tribal and have customs from long ago that they still practice. That the culture is what it is and there is more to it then other people would believe. Yes, he might be doing that.

Chapter Three
The priestess of Agbala is introduced at the beginning of this chapter. She is a very significant figure in this book. What effect does her status have on your judgment of the roles played by women in the culture? The chi or personal spirit (rather like the daemon of Socrates) is a recurring theme in the book. The term "second burial" is a delayed funeral ceremony given after the family has had time to prepare.
How is awareness of rank observed in the drinking of the palm wine? Note that this chapter contains another proverb about proverbs. How does share-cropping work? What is the relationship of women to agriculture? Note that a customary way of committing suicide in this culture is hanging. How does Okonkwo react to "the worst year in living memory?"

Her rank as a priestess effects my judgement because now I feel that the other women should have different roles instead of such typical female roles since a female is one of the most important figures in their culture. That the oldest drink first and they have a high role since they are closer to the ancestors. Share-cropping is when a person is growing the seeds of another person to sell and make money off. Women are aloud to grow "women crops". He didn't sink under the load of despair like many would have and now he believes he can survive anything.

Chapter Four
What are Okonkwo's virtues? What are his faults? What does this proverb mean, "When a man says yes his chi says yes also"? What is Okonkwo's relationship with Ikemefuna like? What is the crime that causes Okonkwo's to be reprimanded? What does it tell you about the values of the culture? Achebe portrays this aspect of traditional Nigerian life in a very different fashion from
Buchi Emecheta, who we will read later. What evidence is there in this chapter that customs have changed over time? That customs differ among contemporary cultures? What are the limits of the power of the village rain-maker? Note Nwoye's affection for Ikemefuna. It will be significant later.

Okonkwo's virtues are that he is a lord of the clan. His faults are that he is mean to those less successful and is very tempermental and always beats his wives. The proverb means that if a person has a strong will their chi is strong willed to and they can accomplish anything. Okonkwo like Ikemefuna and thinks of him as a son, but treats him with heavy hand. Okonkwo beat his wife on the sacred week. That they respect their gods and goddesses deeply and they are not to be disrespected during their celebration. One change is that a long ago a person who broke the sacred week of peace was dragged aroung, but that isn't a thing anymore. He can't stop the rain or start it in the heart of the dry season in risk of his health.

Chapter Five
What is Okonkwo's attitude toward feasts? Note that it is women who are chiefly responsible for decorating the houses. In many African cultures they are also the chief domestic architects, and the mud walls are shaped by them into pleasing patterns. Guns were brought into Sub-Saharan Africa early on by Muslim merchants, but would have been fairly unusual. Briefly summarize the story of Ikwefi. What kind of a woman is she? What do you think is the significance of women having to sit with their legs together?

Okonkwo isn't enthusiastic about them he much rather work on his farm. Ekwifi was the beauty of the village and ran away from her husband to marry Okonkwo. She is a rebel, she likes wrestling . That it isn't proper for a women to have her legs open unless for some other reason. Only men can sit like that and women aren't equal to men so they must be proper.

Chapter Six
This chapter introduces a much-discussed aspect of Ibo belief. As in most pre-modern cultures, the majority of children died in early childhood. If a series of such deaths took place in a family it was believed that the same wicked spirit was being born and dying over and over again, spitefully grieving its parents. They tended to be apprehensive about new children until they seemed to be likely to survive, thus proving themselves not to be feared ogbanje. What roles does Chielo play in the village?
Chapter Seven
How has Nwoye begun to "act like a man"? What values does Okonkwo associate with manliness? How does Nwoye relate to these values? "Foo-foo" is pounded yam, the traditional staple of the Ibo diet. How does the village react to the coming of the locusts? Achebe is doubtless stressing the contrast with other cultures here, familiar to African readers from the Bible, in which locusts are invariably a terrible plague. Why is Okonkwo asked not to take part in the killing of Ikemefuna? Why do you suppose they have decided to kill the boy? Why do you think Achebe does not translate the song that Ikemefuna remembers as he walks along? A matchet is a large knife (Spanish machete). Why does Okonkwo act as he does?
Most traditional cultures have considered twins magical or cursed. Twins are in fact unusually common among the Ibo, and some subgroups value them highly. However, the people of Umuofia do not. Note how the introduction of this bit of knowledge is introduced on the heels of Ikemefuna's death. Nwoye serves as a point of view character to criticize some of the more negative aspects of Umuofia culture. This incident will have a powerful influence on his reaction to changes in the culture later.
Chapter Eight
What is Okonkwo's attitude toward his daughter Ezinma?" Bride-price is the converse of dowry. Common in many African cultures, it involves the bridegroom's family paying substantial wealth in cash or goods for the privilege of marrying a young woman. Do you think such a custom would tend to make women more valuable than a dowry system where the woman's family must offer the gifts to the bridegroom's family? How do you think such a system would affect the women themselves? Note again the emphasis on differing customs, this time as it applies to palm-wine tapping.
Young women were considered marriageable in their mid-teens. Why do you think this attitude arose? It is worth noting that European women commonly married between 15 and 18 in earlier times. There is nothing uniquely African about these attitudes.
Note the continued treatment of the theme of the variability of values. How is the notion of white men first introduced into the story? Why might Africans suppose that they have no toes? What sorts of attitudes are associated with white men in this passage?
Chapter Nine
The story of the mosquito is one of several West African tales which explain why these insects buzz irritatingly in people's ears. Why does Ekwefi prize her daughter Ezinma so highly? In this chapter the notion of the ogbanje is treated at length. What attitudes toward children does it reflect? Note how it balances against the "throwing away" of twins. Does Achebe seem to validate the belief in ogbanje?
Chapter Ten
The egwugwu ceremony of the Ibo has been much studied. The women clearly know on some level that these mysterious beings are their men folk in disguise, yet they are terrified of them. What do you think their attitude toward the egwugwu is? What seem to be the main functions of the ceremony? How does Evil Forest refute the argument of Uzowulu that he beat his wife because she was unfaithful to him? How are problems like this affected by the fact that whole families are involved in marriage, unlike in American culture where a man and woman may wed quite independently of their families and even against their families' wishes? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system?
Chapter Eleven
What is the moral of the fable of the tortoise? What values does it reflect? What does the incident involving the priestess of Agbala reflect about the values of the culture?
Chapter Twelve
Notice the traditional attitudes of all small villagers toward large marketplaces like Umuike. How is the importance of family emphasized in the uri ceremony? Notice that the song sung at the end of the chapter is a new one. Achebe often reminds us that this is not a frozen, timeless culture, but a constantly changing one.
Chapter Thirteen
Having shown us an engagement ceremony, Achebe now depicts a funeral. We are being systematically introduced to the major rituals of Ibo life. How does the one-handed egwugwu praise the dead man? Okonkwo has killed people before this. What makes this incident so serious, though it would be treated as a mere accident under our law?

Chapter Fourteen
In Part One we were introduced to an intact and functioning culture. It may have had its faults, and it accommodated deviants like Okonkwo with some difficulty, but it still worked as an organic whole. It is in Part Two that things begin to fall apart. Okonkwo's exile in Mbanta is not only a personal disaster, but it removes him from his home village at a crucial time so that he returns to a changed world which can no longer adapt to him.
What is the significance of comparing Okonkwo to a fish out of water? Note the value placed on premarital chastity in the engagement ceremony. In many African cultures virginity is not an absolute requirement for marriage but it is highly desirable and normally greatly enhances the value of the bride-price that may be paid. Thus families are prone to assert a good deal of authority over their unmarried daughters to prevent early love affairs. How does Okonkwo's lack of understanding of the importance of women reflect on him?

The significance of comparing Okonkwo to a fish out of water is because his own men of his clan kicked him out. Okonkwo’s lack of understanding of the importance of women reflects on him because when Uchendu questioned him about the name Nneka (mother is supreme), he did not know how to answer the question, therefore Uchendu said Okonkwo was still a child. Okonkwo did not know that a child belongs to their father when it is the best and happy time, but when it is sad, their mother is there for them to be safe.

Chapter Fifteen
How does the story of the destruction of Abame summarize the experience of colonization? Movie Indians call a train engine an "iron horse," but the term here refers to a bicycle. Note that although the people of Abame acted rashly, they had a good deal of insight into the significance of the arrival of the whites. Note how the Africans treat the white man's language as mere noise; a mirror of how white colonizers treated African languages. What sorts of stories had Okonkwo heard about white men before? In the final exchange with Okonkwo Obierika is good-naturedly refusing to accept Okonkwo's thanks by joking with him.

The story of destruction of Abame summarizes the experience of colonization by showing how the white man came to look around the land before other white men did. When the white man was shot, three white men came to look at the horse and left, and when the time was perfect, they came to attack the people. They went to the market where all the people would gather together, and shot them leaving only survivors of the old, the very sick, and men and women who could escape the market.

Chapter Sixteen
The British followed a policy in their colonizing efforts of designating local "leaders" to administer the lower levels of their empire. In Africa these were known as "warrant chiefs." But the men they chose were often not the real leaders, and the British often assumed the existence of an centralized chieftainship where none existed. Thus the new power structures meshed badly with the old. Similarly the missionaries have designated as their contact man an individual who lacks the status to make him respected by his people.
Why do you think Nwoye has become a Christian? Note how Achebe inverts the traditional dialect humor of Europeans which satirizes the inability of natives to speak proper English by having the missionary mangle Ibo. What is the first act of the missionaries which evokes a positive response in some of the Ibo? Achebe focuses on the doctrine of the Trinity, the notoriously least logical and most paradoxical basic belief in Christianity. How does this belief undermine the missionaries' attempts to discredit the traditional religion? Why does the new religion appeal to Nwoye?

Nwoye has become a Christian because it understands to him, and it makes sense to him. The missionary explained that their gods were not real, and that his god would let them live a happy life in his Kingdom. When the missionary talks about how the tribe’s god is fake, and they are not living they do not believe him. The new religion appeals to Nwoye becuase it accepts him and his faults non like his father.

Chapter Seventeen
What mutual misunderstandings are evident in this chapter between the missionaries and the people of the village? How does the granting to the missionaries of a plot in the Evil Forest backfire? What does the metaphor in the next to the last sentence of the chapter mean?

The misunderstandings they are having is the translator ends up saying the wrong thing and the villagers make fun of him. It backfires because the missonaries don't die like they were supposed to but continue to grow more prosperous.

Chapter Eighteen
The outcaste osu are introduced in this chapter. Why do you suppose Achebe has not mentioned them earlier? Their plight was indeed a difficult one, and is treated by Achebe elsewhere. In India the lowest castes were among the first to convert to faiths which challenged traditional Hinduism; and something similar seems to happen here.

Achebe probably doesn't metion them because now they have a significant role, because they are the main members of the church.

Chapter Nineteen
Note how traditional Umuofian custom can welcome back an erring member once he has paid for his crime. In many cultures Okonkwo would be treated as a pariah, but this culture has ways of accommodating such a person without destroying him, and in fact encouraging him to give of his best. What does the final speaker say is the main threat posed by Christianity?

The speaker says in the main threat posed by Christianity that "An abominable religion has settled among you. A man can now leave his father and his brothers. He can curse the gods of his fathers and his ancestors, like a hunter’s dog that suddenly goes mad and turns on his master. I fear for you; I fear for the clan."

Chapter Twenty
Okonkwo's relationship to the newcomers is exacerbated by the fact that he has a very great deal at stake in maintaining the old ways. All his hopes and dreams are rooted in the continuance of the traditional culture. The fact that he has not been able gradually to accustom himself to the new ways helps to explain his extreme reaction. The missionaries have brought British colonial government with them. Missionaries were often viewed as agents of imperialism. There is a saying common to Native Americans and Africans alike which goes like this: "Before the white man came, we had the land and they had the Bible. Now we have the Bible and they have the land."
What clashes in values are created by the functioning of the British courts? Note the final phrase of Obierika's last speech, alluding to the title of the novel.

The values are what held the Ibo tribe together, and with the British courts, everything fell apart. A big clash in values was the change of religion. Now that Okonkwo expects to return to Umoufia, he thinks that everyone is the same, and he can have his title back. When he arrives he notices that his tribe is falling apart, like the Abame tribe. He does not want to think that his tribe is compared to the Abame because they are weak. Okonkwo wants to stand up and fight for his people.

Chapter Twenty-One
Why do some of the villagers--even those who are not converts to Christianity--welcome the British? The missionaries try to refute what they consider idolatry with the simplistic argument that the animist gods are only wooden idols; however the villagers are perfectly aware that the idol is not the god in a literal sense, any more than the sculpture of Christ on the cross in a Christian church is God. This sort of oversimplification was a constant theme of Christian arguments against traditional faiths throughout the world as the British assumed that the natives were fools pursuing childish beliefs who needed only a little enlightenment to be converted. Mr. Brown here learns better. It is worth noting that Achebe, like his fellow Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, was raised a Christian; but both rejected the faith and have preferred to affirm certain aspects of traditional beliefs in their own lives. note how Akunna shrewdly senses that the head of the church is in England rather than in Heaven. Note the recurrence of the phrase falling apart in the last sentence of the chapter.

Non-Christian villagers welcome the British because ever since they came, money has been flowing through Umoufia. A trading store has also been built and for the first time palm oil and kernel became things of a great price. Even Akunna the greatest man of the village, sent one of his sons to be taught the white man’s knowledge in Mr. Brown’s school.

Chapter Twenty-Two
How is Rev. Smith different from Brown? What is the result of his black and white thinking?

Reverend Smith is different from Mr. Brown because he is strict and uncompromising. Mr. Brown was compromising to the clansman, and wanted to understand the tribes values and customs, rather than harshly enforcing his religion. Mr. Smith on the other hand demands that his religion rejects all of the tribe’s beliefs, and shows no respect for their customs or culture. Mr. Smith is a stereotypical white colonist, who provokes Enoch’s anger.

Chapter Twenty-Three
What does the District Commissioner say is the motive of the British in colonizing the Africans?

The District Commissioner says that they come in no harm, and that they brought a peaceful administration for the people so they could be happy. If anyone was to mistreat the tribe people they would help them, but they would not allow the tribe people to mistreat others.

Chapter Twenty-Four
Once again Okonkwo uses his matchet rashly, bringing disaster on his head. But he could be viewed as a defiant hero defending his people's way of life. What do you think of his act?

I think it was a good thing to do and that Okonkwo had to do it for himself because he couldn't stand what was happening to his peoples way of life and how they just stood and took it.

Chapter Twenty-Five
Why do you think Okonkwo kills himself? What is your reaction to the final paragraph of the book? Analyze it.

I think Okonkwo kills himself because he knew that nothing in the village would change back to the way it was and he couldn't stand living like that. At first I thought the last paragraph made no sense, was stupid, and totally pointless but then I analyzed it more and it showed how heartless the missonaries are. That they don't care what happens to the people or that they drove Okonkwo (the villages greatest man) to kill himself.

11 November 2007

Heart Of Darkness

Annotation 16
"His last word--to live with,' she insisted. 'Don't you understand I loved him--I loved him--I loved him!' I pulled myself together and spoke slowly. 'The last word he pronounced was--your name.'" pg 131

Marlow is talking to Kurtz's girlfriend who insists on knowing what kurtz's last words were. Marlow doesn't tell her about the horror but that it was her name.

"Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a mediating Buddha..." pg 131-132

"The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under and overcast sky--seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness." pg 132

Marlow is compared to Buddha they both had a keen sense of noticing the things around them. Marlow once again mentions the darkness which is a set up of insisting that he is heading back to the heart of darkness.

Annotation 15
"He kept on looking out past me with fiery, longing eyes, with a mingled expression of wistfulness and hate." pg 114
"Only the barbarous and superb woman did not so much as flinch, and stretched tragically her bare arms after us over the sombre and glittering river." pg 115
"The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness." pg 115
"I was, so to speak, numbered with the dead." pg 115
"It survived his strength to hide in the magnifent folds of eloquence the barren darkness of his heart." pg 115
"whose fate it was to be buried presently in the mould of primevil earth." pg 116
"But both the diabolic love and the unearthly hate of the mysteries it had penetrated fought for the possession of that soul satiated with primitive emotions." pg 116
"the forerunner of change, of conquest, of trade, of massacre, of blessings." pg 116

They are finally leaving the heart of darkness. Kurtz still wants to be there because he needs it yet hates it at the same time.

"His was an impentetrable darkness." pg 117
'I am lying here in the dark waiting for death." pg 117
"The Horror! The Horror." pg 118

Kurtz is dying and though he is leaving the heart of darkness his soul has already been tainted by it. His dying words are "the horror" which is describing what he thought about the everything that went on in the Congo.

Annotation 14
"I suspect that for him Mr. Kurtz was one of the immortals." pg 106
'The manager thinks you ought to be hanged.' pg 106
'They are simple people--and I want nothing you know.' pg 106
'Mr. Kurtz's reputation is safe with me.' pg 106
"Kurtz who had ordered the attack to be made on the steamer." pg 107
'Ah! I'll never, never meet such a man again.' pg 107
"After midnigth his warning came to my mind with its hint of danger that seemed, in the starred darkness, real enough to make me get up for the purpose of having a look aroung." pg 108
"sound of men chanting each to himself some weird incantation came out from the black, flat wall of the woods." pg 108
"A ligth was burning within, but Mr. Kurtz was not there." pg 108
"The fact is I was completely unnerved by a sheer black fright, pure abstract terror, unconnceted with any distinct shape of physical danger.' pg 109
"The possibility of a sudden onslaughter and massacre, or something of the kind." pg 109
"I did not betray Mr. kurtz--It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice." pg 109"I was anxious to deal with this shadow by myself alone." pg 109
'He can't walk--he is crawling on all-fours--I've got him.' pg 109

The manager along with wanting the disposal of Kurtz, thinks the Russian worshiper should be hung. Marlow tells him that and he sneaks away and now the burden of Kurtz and his secrets has been dumped on Marlow. At night Marlow finds kurtz gone and is hunting him down to make the kill. He is excited to finally confront Kurtz face-to-face, because the two are very similar.

"I imagined myself living alone and unarmed in the woods to an advanced age." pg 110
"a dark blue space, sparkling with dew and starlight, in which black things stood very still." pg 110
"I was circumventing Kurtz as though it had been a boyish game." pg 110
"when actually confronting him I seemed to come to my senses, I saw the danger in its right proportion." pg 110
"I had to beat that shadow--this wandering, and tormented thing." pg 111
'I was on the threshold of great things' pg 111
"I did not want to have the throttling of him." pg 111
"I tried to break the spell--the heavy, mute spell of the wilderness--that seemed to draw him to its pipiless breast by the awakening of forgotten and brutal instincts." pg 112
"this alone had beguiled his unlawful soul beyond the bounds of permitted aspirations." pg 112
"I had, like the niggers, to invoke him." pg 112
"If anybody ever struggled with a soul, I am the man. And I wasn't arguing with a lunatic either. Believe me or not, his intelligence was perfectly clear." pg 112
"But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself." pg 113

When he finally confronts Kurtz in the forest to do what he was sent too, he actually fears Kurtz because of his eyes. He knows he has to take him down, yet he doesn't want to. While arguing he realizes that he is very intellegent but his soul had eaten away at itself and gone mad. Marlow struggles within himself because he is on the border of becomeing like Kurtz and he must decide to let his soul eat away or keep it within as a whole.

Annotation 13
"I think the knowledge came to him at last." pg 98
"But the wilderness found him out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengence for the fantastifc invasion." pg 98
"It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core" pg 98
"that was only a savage sigth, while I seemed at one bound to have been trasported into some lightless region of sublte horrors, where pure, uncomplicated savagery was a positive relief." pg 98"he crawled as much as the veriest savage of them all." pg 99
"a cry arose whose shrillness pierced the still air like a sharp arrow flying straight to the very heart of the land; and as if by enchantement, streams of human beings, with wild glances and savage movements, were poured into the clearing by the dark-faced and pensive forest." pg 100

In Kurtz's illness he has realized what he's done, but it doesn't matter because the darkness of the forest got to him first and used him to get back at the other white men who invaded it and harmed it's people. He has no heart or soul, It's just blackness and hollow inside of his currupt little mind. The place where Kurtz is, is the heart of it all, the heart of darkness; a place where all the horror reign and begin.

"It was as though an animated image of death carved out of old ivory." pg 101
"I noticed the crowd of savages was vanishing." pg 101
"This shadow looked satiated and calm." pg 102
"She was savage and subverb, wild-eyed and magnificent." pg 103
"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."pg 103
"and at the same time the swift shadows darted out on the earth." pg 103
'Mr. Kurtz has done more harm than good to the company.' pg 105
"I had never breathed an atmosphere so vile, and I turned mentally to Kurtz for relief." pg 105
"I had turned to the wilderness really, not to Mr. Kurtz." pg 105
"I also were buried in a vast grave full of unspeakalbe secrets." pg 105

Marlow finally sees Kurtz and he is as deathly and sick looking as ivory. This native woman comes out from the shadows and is dressed in a bunch of stuff that signifies her high place in that tribe but to Marlow she looks like a savage still. She is like the soul of the forest; strong, fierce, and despiteful toward the white men. The manager tells Marlow that Kurtz is making things worse for the company even if he is getting a lot of ivory, he is becoming a savage himself.

Annotation 12
"He rattled away at such a rate he quite overwelmed me." pg 90
'You don't talk with that man--you listenyou listen to him,' pg 90
'But when one is young one must see things, gather experiences, ideas; enlarge the mind.' pg 90
"He had been wandering about that river for nearly two years alone, cut off from everybody and everything." pg 91
'They don't want him to go.' pg 91
'This man has enlarged my mind.' pg 91
"He surely wanted nothing from the wilderness but space to breathe in and to push on through." pg 92
"the absolutely pure, uncalculating, unpractical spirit of adventure." pg 93
'He made me see things--things!' pg 93
"never, never before, did this land, this river, this jungle, the very arch of this blazing sky, appear to me so hopeless and dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness." pg 93
"Kurtz wandered alone, far in the depths of the forest." pg 94

Marlow met a young man who had met Kurtz. He is totally obsessed and kinda crazy. After being alone in the forest for such a long time the heart of darkness could have gotten to him, but Kurtz did first and twisted his mind. When looking at the young man and his sparkling eyes with the joy of talking about Kurtz, Marlow finds the whole area even darker because of how it warped the guy.

'He could be very terrible. You can't judge Mr. Kurtz as you would an ordinary man.' pg 94
'He declared he would shoot me unless I gave him the ivory and then cleared out of the country, because he could do so, and had a fancy for it.' pg 95
'He hated all this, and somehow he couldn't get away.' pg 95
'forget himself amoungst these people.' pg 95
'Mr. Kurtz couldn't be mad.' pg 95
"The woods were unmoved, like a mask--heavy, like the closed door of a prison--they looked with their air of hidden knowledge, of patient expectation, of unapproachable silence." pg 96
"Evidently the appitite for more ivory had got the better." pg 96
"They would have been more impressive, the heads on the stakes, if their faces had not been turn3ed to the house." pg 97
"and there it was, black, dried, sunken, with closed eyes." pg 97
"Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts, that there was something wanting in him--some small matter." pg 97

kurtz used terrible means to get the natives to worship him. As time went on he became more corrupted and tainted by the heart of darkness. He went on raids when his overwelming lust for ivory arose. He had the heads of people he killed as decoration because he couldn't conrol himself.

Annotation 11

"hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter" pg 82
"everything belonged to him--but that was a trifle." pg 82
"The thing was to know what he belonged to. how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own." pg 82
"When they are gone you must fall upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity of faithfullness." pg 82
"too dull even to know you are being assulted by the powers of darkness." pg 82
"the fool is too much of a fool, or the devil too much of a devil." pg 83
"This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honuored me with its amazing confidence before it vanished altogether." pg 83
"I learned that the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Custom had intrusted him." pg 83
"Before his nerves, went wrong, and caused him to preside at certain midnight dances ending with unspeakable rites." pg 84
"I was to have care of his memory." pg 85
"Whatever he was, he was not common." pg 85

The darkness controls all. The men belong to it and all it offers. Everyone is too dumb to even notice that they are being controlled and taken over by the darkness. Marlow still believes Kurtz is dead. In his writing, Marlow thinks Kurtz went mad when he gave into the darkness and participated in the savage's rituals.

"He had no restraint, no restraint--just like Kurtz--a tree swayed by the wind." pg 86
"I tipped him overboard." pg 86
"there was a scandalized murmur at my heartless promptitude." pg 86
"if my late helmsman was to be eaten, the fishes alone should have him." pg 86
"Kurtz was dead, and the station had been burnt." pg 87
"He positively danced, the bloodthirsty little gingery beggar." pg 87
"that almost all the shots had gone too high." pg 87
"Of course the forest surrounded all that." pg 88
"human forms glided here and there." pg 88'The natives are in the bush.' pg 89

Marlow compares the man who died on the boat to kurtz, in that they both were reckless and couldn't restain themselves from the temptation of the darkness. He drops the body in the river and everyone acts like he just did some horrible deed, when in truth it would be the others who wanted to make a meal out of the dead man. Marlow actually has a little amount of respect for the blacks to throw the body over board instead of letting him be eaten.

Annotation 10
"He was the most unstable kind of fool I had ever seen." pg 74
"We were being shot at." pg 75
"and I saw a face amoungst the leaves on the level with my own, looking at me very fierce and steady." pg 75
"They might have been poisened , but they looked as though they wouldn't kill a cat." pg 76
"I saw vague forms of men running bent double, leaping, gliding, distinct, incomplete, evanescent." pg 76

On there journey they get attacked by the natives. The natives are launching arrows at the crew, who then in turn start shooting at them with guns. Marlow doesn't believe the arrows could kill anybody, my guess is because they are a primitive weapon; funny how a man is in the steering room with him and has been shot in the side with an arrow.

"We two whites stood over him." pg 78
"and that frown gave to his black death-mask an inconceivably sombre, brooding, and menacing expression." pg 78
"and became aware that was exactly what I had been looking forward to--a talk with Kurtz." pg 79
"the pulsating stream of light, or the decietful flow from the heart of an impenetrable darkness." pg 79
"I couldn't have felt more of a lonely desolation." pg 79
"He was very little more than a voice." pg 80
"They--the woman I mean--are out of it--completely." pg 81
"sealed his soul to its own by the inconceivable ceremonies of soem devilish initiation." pg 81

The man who had died was a black man. Marlow assumes that Kurtz was killed too. He finally realizes that he was looking forward to meeting him the whole entire time, I think because they are actually very similar people. Kurtz was the light out of the darkness too Marlow, which I doubt since he was most likely consumed by the darkness.

Annotation 9

"A complaining clamour, modulated in savage discords, filled our ears." pg 66

"The rest of the world was nowhere." pg 66

"swept off without leaving a whisper or a shadow behind." pg 66

"It was very curious to see the contrast of expression of the white men and the black fellows of our crew." pg 67

"Why in the name of all the gnawing devils of hunger they didn't go after us amazes me now when I think of it." pg 69

"the dream-sensation that pervaded all my days at a time" pg 69

"was it supersition, disgust, patience, fear--or some kind of primitive honour?" pg 69

"It takes a man all his inborn strength to fight hunger properly." pg 70

"note of desperate grief in this savage clamour that had swept by us on the river-back, behind the blind whiteness of the fog."

a clamour on the side of the river happened between the natives. The black men on the ship haven't been getting fed and are starving. Marlow wonders why they don't attack the crew and eat them, which is a pretty demented and savage thought. He goes on asking why and one thought is that it is a primitive honour why they don't resort to cannablism, very contradictory when they are beyond primitivity if they aren't feasting on each other.

"Unexpected, wild, and violent as they had been, they had given me an irresistible impression of sorrow." pg 72

"The glipse of the steamboat for some reason filled those savages with unrestrained grief." pg 72

"I believe they thought me gone mad." pg 72"It was undertaken under the stress of desperation." pg 72"In this shadow we steamed up." pg 73

Thinking about the attack by the savages, Marlow concludes that it was out of sorrow for what he knows not. It was probably for all the pain the white men have brought upon them; enslaving them, taking there land, and resourses.

Annotation 8

"The word ivory would ring in the air for a while." pg 58

"After all, if you were small, the grimy beetle crawled on--which was just what you wanted it to do." pg 58

"We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness." pg 58

"At night sometimes the roll of drums behind the curtain of trees would run up the river and remain sustained fairly," pg 58

"The dawns were heralded by the descent of a chill stillness;" pg 58

"We could have fancied ourselves the first of men taking possession of an accursed inheritance, to be subdued at the cost of profound anguish nad of excessive toil." pg 59

"We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there--there you could look at a thing monsterous and free." pg 59

"but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity--like yours--the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar." pg 59

"The mind of man is capable of anything." pg 60

"and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced." pg 60

"I had to look after the savage who was fireman." pg 61

They are making there way further into the forest or the "heart of darkness". At night there is the sound of drums but at day nothing but silence. There are a bunch of natives that go and attack or something and to them its like a zoo or something because those natives were still free compared to the ones they have captive. Its a thrill to them knowing that the natives and them are related through humanity so deep down they possess a savageness.

"We must approach in daylight--not at dust or in the dark." pg 64

"Not the faintest sound could be heard." pg 65

The pilgrims are getting closer to finding Kurtz, which keeps being delayed, much to Marlow's annoyance. They find a warning at an abandoned camp so now they only travel during the day, which wouldn't matter because that seems to be the most dangerous time.

Annotation 7

"It was an inextricable mess of things decent in themselves but that human folly made look like spoils of thieving." pg 50

"To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe." pg 50

"I was curious to see whether this man, who had come out equipped with moral ideas of some sort, would climb to the top after all." pg 51

"It was a distinct glimpse: the dugout, four paddling savages, and the lone white man turning his back suddenly on the headquarters; setting his face towards the depths of the wilderness, towards his empty and desolate station." pg 53

'a pestilential fellow, snapping ivory from the natives.' pg 53

Marlow talks about the men and how they all are selfish and secretly hate each other because they want the ivory to themselves and it is one of the only things constantly being talked about. He says that they are like theives stealing from the land, even the manager says something about this one fellow calling him a pest for taking ivory from the natives, when that is exactly what they all are doing. Every single one of them is a theif because the ivory belongs to the native people and they just barged in and took over.

"a centre for trade of course, but also for humanizing, improving, instructing." pg 54

"Seemed to beckon with a dishonouring flourish before the sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, the the profound darkness of its heart." pg 54

"Going up the river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the eart and the big trees were kings." pg 55

"And this stillness of life did not in the least resemble a peace. It was the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention." pg 56

During the day the forest is the place where the heart of darkness is, a place of evil. Evil reighned in the early times when the forest took up the earth. Stillness isn't peaceful to Marlow, it is a burden, he must be getting anxious and tired of staying in one place for so long. Marlow thinks that cannibals are fine people, which is ludacrious when they find the black people uncivilized and savages.

Annotation 6

"Beyond the fence the forest stood up spectrally in the moonlight, and through the dim stir, through the faint sounds of that lamentalbe countryard, the silence of the land went home to one's very heart--its mystery, its greatness, the amazing reality of its concealed life." pg 42

"I could see a little ivory coming out from there, and I had heard Mr. Kurtz was in there." pg 43

"There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies--which is exacly what I hate and detest in the world--what I want to forget." pg 44

"We live, as we dream--alone..." pg 44

white men believe that beating the slaves will keep them in their place. Marlow appriectiates the moonlight and the silence of the night , those two things are peaceful and he is a person who prefers solitude. He lies to people yet hates lies thinks they contain death and humanism. Mr. Kurtz is always being talked about constantly and is like some big hero or something, but to Marlow he is just a word, a dream for he had never seen him in his existence.

"for he judged it necessary to inform me he feared neither God nor devil, let alone any mere man." pg 46

"It was a great comfort to turn from that chap to my influential friend, the battered twisted, ruined, tin-pot steamboat." pg 47

"Your own reality--for yourself, not for others--what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means." pg 47

"I rather chummed with the few mechanics there were in the station, whom the other pilgrims naturally despised--on account of their imperfect manners." pg 48

"I don't know why we behaved like lunatics." pg 48

"The great wall of vegetation was like a rioting invasion of soundless life, a rolling wave of plants, to sweep every little man of us out of his little existence." pg 49

"Instead of rivets there came an invasion, and infliction, a visition." pg 49

Marlow considers the steamboat a friend, something comforting even if it is all deformed like him on the inside. He gets along well with the mechanics who are the least liked of all the white men there. Marlow is an outcast too in his own way and mind. The forest is quite and surrounding them with it's vastness that could engulf them all.

Annotation 5

"He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness." pg 34

"Because triumphant health in the general rout of constitutions is a kind of power in itself." pg 35

"He sealed the utterance with that smile of his, as though it had been a door opening into a darkness he had in his keeping."

"He was neither civil or uncivil." pg 35

"He allowed his 'boy'--an overfed young negro from the coast--to treat the white men, under his very eyes, with provoking insolence." pg 35

"Being hungry, you know, and kept on my feet too, I was getting savage." pg 36

Marlow meets this one guy who is described in a way that is like a Machievellian rating, but he isn't even on it he is just a mysterious person who makes those around him uneasy. He has no order and couldn't be considered civil or uncivil. He had a black kid in his company that he let disrespect the white people and is in a sense treated above them in this case.

"In that way only it seemed to me I could keep my hold on the redeeming facts of life." pg 37

"I've never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion." pg 37

"A nigger was being beaten near by. They said he had caused the fire in some way; be that as it may, he was screeching must horribly." pg 38

"and the wilderness without a sound took him into its bosom again." pg 38

"As I approached the glow from the dark I found myself at the back of two men." pg 38

"the only thing that ever came to them was diesease." pg 39"They intrigued and slandered and hated each other only on that account." pg 39

"Then I noticed a small sketch in oils, on a panel, representing a woman, draped and blindfolded, carrying a lighted torch. The background was sombre--almost black. The movement of the woman was stately, and the effect of the torchlight on the face was sinister." pg 40

Every one is always talking about ivory, it's one of the most important reasons they are all there for besides to colonize. Marlow finds the wilderness evil and some great force that excepts the black welcomingly and only brings diesease to the white man. Marlow talks causually about how a black man was beaten because they accused him of setting a shed on fire.

Annotation 4

"The black bones reclined at full length with one shoulder agianst the tree, adn slowly the eyelids rose and the sunken eyes looked up at me, enormous and vacant, a kind of blind, white flicker in depths of the orbs, which died out slowly." pg 27

"It looked startling round his black neck, this bit of white thread from beyond the seas." pg 27

"And all others were scattered in every pose of contorted collapse, as in some picture of a massacre or a pestilence." pg 27

"When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an unexpected elegance of getup that in the first moment I look him for a sort of vision." pg 28

Marlow is describing a scene of physical exhaustion of the slaves. They are being worked to death and look like something one the lines of a massacre. He meets a white man dressed up very nicely and he thinks him some vision of god or whatever and then when he sees the slaves they are just pests being slowly extermintated.

"but in the demoralization of the land he kept up his appearance."

"A stream of manufactured goods, rubbishy cottons, beads, and brasswire set into the depths of darkness, and in return came a precious trickle of ivory." pg 29

"When one has got to make correct entries, one comes to hate those savages--hate them to the death." pg 30

"Perhaps on some quite night the tremor of far-off drums, sinking, swelling, a tremor vast, faint; a sound weird, appealing, suggestive, and wild--and perhaps with as profound a meaning as the sound of bells in a Christian country." pg 31-32

"They jibbed, ran away, sneaked off with their loads in the night--quite a mutiny." pg 32

"He was very anxious for me to kill somebody, but there wasn't the shadow of a carrier near." pg 32

'It would be interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot.' pg 32-33

Marlow calls the fancy dresser a miracle when how is he one when they have no morals for the land and its people. One of the accountents says that he hates "those savages" when in truth they are the savages. Marlow even says something about this beat of a drum thta was wild and compared it to christian bells. And a man in his crew wanted him to kill someone. They become more savage as time goes by.

Annotation 3

"Something like an emissary of light, something like a lower sort of apostle." pg 18

"I felt as though, I instead of going to the centre of the continent, I were about to set off for the centre of the earth." pg 19

"There it is before you--smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, mean, insipid, or savage, and always mute with an air whispering," pg 19-20

"The edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf," pg 20

"The idleness of a passenger, my isolation amoungst all these men with whom I had no point of contact, the oily and languid sea, the uniform sombreness of the coast, seemed to keep me away from the truth of things, within the toil of a mournful and senseless delusion." pg 20

"It was something natural, that had its reason, that had a meaning." pg 21

"There was a touch of insanity in the proceedings, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight." pg 21

"We called at some more places with farcical names, where the merry dance of death and trade goes on in a still and earthy atmosphere as of an overheated catacomb;" pg 22

"in and out of rivers, streams of death in life," pg 22

Before Marlow goes he has a conversation with this woman and thinks that women are from another world, when its like they are living in another world on that boat. They have been on it for a long time and all the land they pass looks exactly the same but named different. Marlow isolates himself from the other people because he feels no need to converse with them.

"A continious noise of the rapids above hovered over this scene of inhabited devastation." pg 23

"A lot of people, mostly black and naked, moved about like ants." pg 23

"To the left a clump of trees made a shady spot, where dark things seemed to stir feebly." pg 23

"They were building a railway." pg 24

"Black rags were wound round their loins, and the short ends behind waggled to and fro like tails." pg 24

"each had an iron collar on his neck, and all were connected together with a chain." pg 24

"They passed me within six inches, without a glance, with that complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages." pg 24

"This was simple prudence, white men being so much alike at a distance that he could not tell who I might be." pg 25

"I've had to resist adn to attack sometimes." pg 25

"I've seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire." pg 25

"Black shapes crouched, lay, sat between the trees leaning against the trunks, in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair." pg 26

"They were dieing slowly." pg 26

"They were not enemies, they were not crimminals, they were nothing earthly now--nothing but black shadows of diesease and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom." pg 26

When they landed somewhere Marlow came across black people chained together working on the railroad. They were forced to be slaves. The white people think that the blacks are savages when it is the other way around, because the whites are enslaving the blacks. There were some black people resting in the shade for they were really slowly dieing from lack of nutrients and sickness. Marlow realizes that is what is happening and what they are now.

Annotation 2

"a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place fo darkness." pg 11

"but I have a lot of relations living on the Continent, because it's cheap and not so nasty as it looks, they say." pg 12

"It appears the Company had recieved news that one of their captains had been killed in a scuffle with the natives." pg 12

"I heard the original quarrel arose from a misunderstanding about some hens. Yes, two black hens." pg 12

"he whacked the old nigger mercilessly--till some man--made a tentative jab with a spear at the white man." pg 13

"The supernatural being had not been touched after he fell. And the village was deserted, the huts gaped black, rotting, all askew within the fallen enclosures." pg 13

"In a very few hours I arrived in a city that always makes me think of a whited sepulchre." pg 14

Marlow is really into traveling especially to places that have yet to be explored. He recalls how he got his job. That a white captain was murdered by a black native because of a quarell about hens. Marlow went to find the body that every one else neglected to retrieve or do anything with.

"I was going into the yellow. Dead in the centre. And the river was there--fascinating--deadly--like a snake.

" pg 15

"You know I am not used to such ceremonies, and there was something ominious in the atmosphere." pg 15

"It was just as though I had been let into some conspiracy--I dn't know--something not quite right." pg 15

"She seemed to know all about them and about me, too." pg 16

"She seemed uncanny and faithful." pg 16

"I thought of these two, guarding the door of Darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall, one introducing, introducing continuously to the unknown, the other scrutinizing the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned old eyes." pg 16

'I am not such a fool as I look, quoth Plato to his disciples' pg 17

' I have a little theory which you messieurs who go out there must help me prove.' pg 17

Marlow went to this place to see the doctor before he could leave. There are two women there who have an ominous air to them. They are the ones who watch the door into the darkness while knitting black wool. The doctor asks Marlow if ever there was any known madness in the family, which I think connects with his theory about the men who go out. That they slowly become mad.

Annotation 1

"And this also, has been one of the dark places of the earth." pg 6

"The worst that could be said about him was that he did not represent his class." pg 6

The men are at sea. There are only five of them. The leader is Marlow, who is a sea man. He seems to be a solitary person who looks deeper into things.

"But Marlow was not typical, and to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out. pg 7

"Light came out of this river...We live in the flicker. But darkness was here yesterday." pg 7

"Sand-banks, marshes, forests, savages,--precious little to eat fit for a civilized man." pg 8

"They were men enought to face the darkness." pg 8

"Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him--all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men." pg 8

"imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate." pg 8

"as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness." pg 9

"he began, showing in this remark the weakness of many tellers of tales who seem so often unaware of what their audience would seem best like to hear. pg 9

"just as though I had got a heavenly mission to civilize you." pg 9

Marlow is not like the others, he isn't different in thought. He always brings up the darkness and savagery. It's as if those are ideas that he would classify himself under.