A Tranquil Waterway

“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 an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness” (pp. 186-7).

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Rev. ed. Edited by Cedric Watts. Oxford University Press, 2002.

Although this scene is quite crucial to the story as a whole, along with the title, as well, the narrator actually repeats himself here. To illustrate, on page 104 (beginning of Part 1) the narrator states the following: “…the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth.” There is a contrast, however, between the two times he states this. The description of the waterway in beginning expresses a more positive vibe, whereas the ending’s description is “dark” and somewhat mysterious.