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Word Count: 933
The Swimming Pool of Darkness The three stations in Conrads novella The Heart of Darkness serve as steps in a descent When Marlows journey down the Congo is examined it can be viewed as if it were a descent into the pool that is Africa The stations themselves are attempts at oases within the harsh jungle but through exposure have become corrupted by the darkness of the land With each station Marlow comes closer and closer to his final goal the inner station where Kurtz waits for him This final station represents a total and complete immersion into the darkness and could thus be thought of as the heart At each station Marlow is exposed to more and more of the savagery and chaos that is the essence of the darkness The steps or evolution to this darkness can be seen through the characters and experiences that Marlow encounters at the stations At the Outer Station the first stepping-stone into the pool Marlow encounters the Chief Accountant The duality of this character becomes apparent to Marlow after he meets the Accountants assistant The Accountants personal dress is what one would expect from a person in England I met a white man in such an unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for a sort of vision and He was amazing and had a penholder behind his ear 20 All the bookkeeping is done at the Outer Station and the station itself is kept in such civil order that Marlow is amazed But through the character of the attendant it can be construed that the Accountant is not nearly as elegant as Marlow believes him to be When Marlow asks the Accountant how he keeps his clothes so nice in the jungle the novel states The Accountant had just the faintest blush and said modestly Ive been teaching one of the native women about the station It was difficult She
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