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chad
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almost done! excellent!

Conrad's story seems to work well with his theme of our own hearts becoming or  "being" the lines that shape our world. That is, the story did not seem to me to be forced within in a theme or vessel. You get an unforgettable sense of the culture or the age of Imperialism, and he does it succinctly I think.
 
Chad
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chad
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Re: almost done! excellent!

Well, I started out with my inside and is my outside- which seems trivial I guess. But we tend not to think our hearts are our lines. The Congo river, of course, now separates two states- supposedly a republic and a democracy. Perhaps we can trace the evolution of each state to men who came with boats and guns, and to the Native communities that lived in the heart of the jungle. The darkness is the river that lies somewhere between.
 
Chad
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chad
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Republicans and Democrats

[ Edited ]
Well, do we view republics and democracies as different forms of profit sharing? Or is each backed by a belief or a conviction? I think this is taking place in our country at the moment-- that is, I'm not sure either party stands for anything in particular, although coined as "Republican" and "Democrat." I imagine this might be true of the countries in the Congo. However, countries have been named as such.
 
Chad




Message Edited by chad on 03-20-2008 12:02 PM
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Rivers

And so, as countries battle for land and resources, borders and lines of countries begin to dissipate, but the original lines created by our rivers still remain, uniting us with shared history, and, perhaps, calling us to our wild side within.
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Lines theme

[ Edited ]
And just to add, I think Conrad built his story around the sharp lines created when civilization meets Nature. When Marlow first arrives in the Congo, for example, the reader is transported into a wordl with sharp contrasts of black and white. The whiteness of the manager's suit vs the color of the slaves. Black hits white, and the space between almost feels like a vacuum or oblivion, where the shapes of sounds are perceptible, or, it is a place where you can feel sound's impacts, at least.  
 
Similarly, civilization hit North America's wilderness, and prior to the exploration and exploitation of the Congo. We now seem to be focusing on the jungles of South and Central America, but as something to preserve or maintain....and  I'm not sure if there are now any truly "unexplored" or wild regions of the world. But, throughout history, there had been this Civilization vs. Nature struggle. Whether the struggle is over who won the struggle is debatable, and, as mentioned, the river is usually what remains.
 
Chad  
 
PS-I talk about rivers while we experience more flooding in the US- we continue to struggle with our rivers over here, as well. This book also begins with a flood....


Message Edited by chad on 03-22-2008 11:58 AM
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Justice

Justice is often represented by a set of scales which weigh facts of cases to arrive at some kind of an "equitable" or a "just" decison- perhaps achieving a balance of some kind.... Kurtz, in essence, attempts to tip the scales in his favor and attempts to take his portion of the Congo, or a larger share of the profits if you will. Is justice simply getting what I deserve in life and, if so, can it sometimes be achieved here on earth? Justice is something I can have on earth is what I would argue....
 
Chad
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profit sharing

[ Edited ]
We, as a "civilized" people, tend to "wait" or argue in courts over our shares, or more broadly our shares of the world. That is, we draw lines and boundaries and there is, at least, some restraint on consuming, taking, or even living, if you will. Compare this form of "civilized" taking to what and how the Congo natives take or consume, for example. The darkness would be the line between what I deserve vs. what civilization gives me.  Or, more specifically, the darkness is the "how" I take my share of the world and how I take shape. Laws of civilization restrict my consumption and my living. That darkness and that grey area, I think, is both our horror and our hope. It remains like the river.
 
Chad 



PS- hope this helps- i tend to focus on the deeper stuff, but this was another good one. I liked the ending, as well: when Marlow has to finalize matters in Kurtz's life and approaches his wife's door with the ghostly savages of the Congo....

PS PS- But laws and civilizations and societies may be more than simply "profit" or "resource" sharing agreements." That is, they may be backed by belief and conviction... or, they may simply be entities begun by the devil and his fool.. what did you think? I feel that we do have problems in the US, figuring out what we are exactly- something based on principles or profits, or a combination of both.



 





Message Edited by chad on 03-24-2008 07:09 PM
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Inside/Outside finale: or just another way of looking at it

[ Edited ]
There are so many things you could write about "the Heart." But to tie in some of the above with my inside/outside theme, with the theme of profit sharing: I'll just say that we developed an "inside" to consume more. During the course of embryological development, the outside turns in on itself, forming a tube or a cavity which later differentiates into organs. Our organs, our hearts in particular, are guided by the unconcscious "half" of ourselves, or that part of the nervous system called the "autonomic nervous system." The heart regulates the flow of blood through our bodies and beats regularly.
 
On a larger scale, civilizations turn in on themselves, their "outsides" becoming their "insides", forming democracies, republics, communist states- different organisms which consume differently, or, different profit sharing agreements, if you will. The rivers are their blood, guided by the heart of the wild, often beating stronger than our own. Our hearts sometimes seem to sometimes follow the river, gradually becoming consumed by the beat of the wild. Moreover, you could say that the flow of the river is regulated by Nature's heart, and it's difficult for sailors to regulate that flow- that is, they sometimes must wait for floods to subside, or for the tide to turn. The "why" we have a heart, and a division between unconscious and conscious "self" is the grey area or that dark- and you can venture into the "why" when you read this novel. But the question that Conrad might have had: Does the heart of Nature always beat louder than the heart of civilization? Our rivers may provide that answer and, quite possibly, our only hope.
 
 
Chad 
 
PS- Nature won again in this country quite recently.






Message Edited by chad on 03-25-2008 11:11 AM
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Republican party and democratic party: Innie and Outie all the time politics

[ Edited ]
Just to add:
 
Our parties seem to be about the distribution of wealth or "profit sharing." Many Americans feel that the Republican party favors the wealthy, while the democratic party favors the poor or is, at least, a party that favors a "more even" distribution of wealth. I'm not sure each party is backed by a belief. If so, it may be belief based on how wealth should be distributed. In any case, in our country, "democracy vs republic" seems to be an ongoing argument. And my guess is that there is ongonig debate in Africa. In Africa, however, countries are deemed Repubics, or democracies or democratic republics, and, "the heart of darkness" might be the line between each form of government. For Conrad, at least, the lines between each type of government would be our rivers, and all forms of governments seem to emanate from them. It's not difficult to share Conrad's sentiment, when so many rivers are borders in the real world.
 
Chad
 
PS- someone said, "the black snake." The Congo was compared to a black snake at the beginning of the novel- but also something that is radiant or electric. Rivers could be viewed as necessary evils, but I would say rivers are everything characteristic lines- they simply exist.






Message Edited by chad on 03-26-2008 11:04 AM
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