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Can you explain the ending part of the story. It talks about Marlow being loyal to...

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sharko66 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted July 19, 2010 at 12:33 AM via web

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Can you explain the ending part of the story. It talks about Marlow being loyal to Kurtz. Expain.

Also, does Marlow hate Kurtz or does he respect him?

Is it true that company's main pupose was to civilize people of Africa.

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 19, 2010 at 3:44 AM (Answer #1)

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The portion of the novella you are referencing is when Marlow visits Kurtz's fiance to return a few letters and a portrait of her. This visit occurs about a year after Kurtz death and had allowed Marlow some time to reflect on his experiences and also upon what he learned and gathered from Kurtz. Marlow is uncertain why he visits; he says that "perhaps it was an impulse of unconscious loyalty."

At this visit, Kurtz's fiance prompts Marlow to speak of how well he knew him and how formative Kurtz was in his experiences. Marlow is reluctant at first and his hesitation allows the fiance to finish her own thoughts and complete her own sentences, projecting her own more flattering vision of Kurtz onto Marlow. Marlow allows this to continue on and does not argue or object to Kurtz's fiance's beliefs. In fact, near the very end of the visit, when the fiance asks to know Kurtz's last words, Marlow lies and tells her it was her name, protecting her from the knowledge of Kurtz and his existence in Africa.

I would say that Marlow has only a sliver of respect for Kurtz and that respect is certainly not for the man he became near the end of his life. It is clear that Kurtz's cynicism has infected Marlow and to some degree he now sees the world through a jaded lens because of his experiences.

The company's main purpose was certainly not to civilize people of Africa. The main purpose was to produce a profit, regardless of what degree of exploitation the African people were subjected to.

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