Heart of Darkness

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Physician's Concern


Prior to his trip into the Congo, Marlow has an exam with a European physician. Highlight the sentence in the following passage which could be taken as foreshadowing of what will happen to the members of this expedition.

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The old doctor felt my pulse, evidently thinking of something else the while. `Good, good for there,' he mumbled, and then with a certain eagerness asked me whether I would let him measure my head. Rather surprised, I said Yes, when he produced a thing like calipers and got the dimensions back and front and every way, taking notes carefully. He was an unshaven little man in a threadbare coat like a gaberdine, with his feet in slippers, and I thought him a harmless fool. `I always ask leave, in the interests of science, to measure the crania of those going out there,' he said. `And when they come back, too?' I asked. `Oh, I never see them,' he remarked; `and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know.' He smiled, as if at some quiet joke. `So you are going out there. Famous. Interesting too.' He gave me a searching glance, and made another note.