27+ Best Heart of Darkness Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Profoundly inspirational heart of darkness quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

Famous Heart of Darkness Quotes

‘You can’t judge Mr. Kurtz as you would an ordinary man.’ (p. 56) The Harlequin offers this comment to Marlow about Kurtz. – Joseph Conrad

‘I tell you,’ he cried, ‘this man has enlarged my mind.’ (p. 54) The Harlequin makes this statement about Kurtz to Marlow. – Joseph Conrad

But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad. (p. 66) Marlow makes this comment as he reflects on meeting Kurtz alone in the wilderness. – Joseph Conrad

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. (p. 7) Marlow offers this comment as a preface to his main tale. – Joseph Conrad

The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky–seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. – Joseph Conrad

The mind of man is capable of anything. – Joseph Conrad

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. There’s no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is detestable. And it has a fascination, too, which goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination–you know. Imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate. – Joseph Conrad

There is a kind way of assisting our fellow-creatures which is enough to break their hearts while it saves their outer envelope. – Joseph Conrad

All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz, and by and by I learned that most appropriately the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs had entrusted him with the making of a report for its future guidance. (p.49) Marlow makes this comment about Kurtz’s background. – Joseph Conrad

The human heart is vast enough to contain all the world. – Joseph Conrad

Beyond the fence the forest stood up spectrally in the moonlight, and through the dim stir, through the faint sounds of that lamentable courtyard, the silence of the land went home to one’s very heart – its mystery, its greatness, the amazing reality of its concealed life. – Joseph Conrad

One wonders that there can be found a man courageous enough to occupy the post. It is a matter of meditation. Having given it a few minutes I come to the conclusion in the serenity of my heart and the peace of my conscience that he must be either an extreme megalomaniac or an utterly unconscious being. – Joseph Conrad

I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more –the feeling that I could last for ever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort –to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires –and expires, too soon, too soon –before life itself. – Joseph Conrad

‘You don’t talk with that man-you listen to him.’ (p. 53) p. 53 The Harlequin offers this comment to Marlow about Kurtz. – Joseph Conrad

You must squeeze out of yourself every sensation, every thought, every image, – mercilessly, without reserve and without remorse: you must search the darkest corners of your heart, the most remote recesses of your brain, – you must search them for the image, for the glamour, for the right expression. And you must do it sincerely, at any cost: you must do it so that at the end of your day’s work you should feel exhausted, emptied of every sensation and every thought, with a blank mind and an aching heart, with the notion that there is nothing, – nothing left in you. – Joseph Conrad

I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more /the feeling that I could last for ever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort /to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires /and expires, too soon, too soon /before life itself – Joseph Conrad

The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness. – Joseph Conrad

‘Exterminate all the brutes!’ (p. 50) This is a comment written in the margin of Kurtz’s report to the International Society for the Suppression of Savage customs. – Joseph Conrad

All roads are long which lead to one’s heart’s desire. – Joseph Conrad

‘Each station should be like a beacon on the road toward better things, a center for trade of course but also for humanising, improving, instructing.’ (p. 32) The Central Station Manager recalls this statement, made by Kurtz, to Marlow. – Joseph Conrad

How does one kill fear, I wonder? How do you shoot a specter through the heart, slash off its spectral head, take it by its spectral throat? – Joseph Conrad

The vision seemed to enter the house with me-the stretcher, the phantom-bearers, the wild crowd of obedient worshippers, the gloom of the forests, the glitter of the reach between the murky bends, the beat of the drum, regular and muffled like the beating of a heart-the heart of a conquering darkness. – Joseph Conrad

We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness – Joseph Conrad

The mysteries of a universe made of drops of fire and clods of mud do not concern us in the least. The fate of humanity condemned ultimately to perish from cold is not worth troubling about. If you take it to heart it becomes an unendurable tragedy. If you believe in improvement you must weep, for the attained perfection must end in cold, darkness and silence. In a dispassionate view the ardour for reform, improvement for virtue, and knowledge, and even for beauty is only a vain sticking up for appearances as though one were anxious about the cut of one’s clothes in a community of blind men. – Joseph Conrad

For the great mass of mankind the only saving grace that is needed is steady fidelity to what is nearest to hand and heart in the short moment of each human effort. – Joseph Conrad

And this also, said Marlow suddenly, has been one of the dark places of the earth. (p. 5) Marlow delivers this comment about England just before he begins his tale about his adventures in the Congo. – Joseph Conrad

‘The horror! The horror! (p. 69) These are Kurtz’s dying words. – Joseph Conrad

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