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Clarification regarding the stroy line of Heart of Darkness.Is it correct or incorrect...

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sharko66 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM via web

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Clarification regarding the stroy line of Heart of Darkness.

Is it correct or incorrect to say that Marlow admired Kurtz, from what he heard about people, but not the Kurtz he met at the end.

Belgium's rule in Congo is imperialism?

Kurtz changed in personality because of his obession to find ivory and ...(i think i am missing one more thing which is related to being a leader or something)

Kurtz wrote about how to civilize people(like he was instructed) but he never actually was with it(like he wanted them dead and like he wanted to rule over them)

 

Kurtz later realized the bad deeds and died by saying Horror cuz he felt bad about what he did.

 

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 19, 2010 at 7:29 AM (Answer #1)

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If you read the information about this novel here on eNotes, you will get the answers you need to your questions. Pay particular attention to the analysis of the characters, both Kurtz and Marlowe.

I think it is true that Marlowe admired Kurtz. In fact, he admits this many times. He admires him from having read his writings and also what he has heard about him. The Kurtz he meets, however, is a very different man, a mad devil, in fact.

Along Marlowe's trip to find Kurtz, he observes the horrors of colonialism in Africa so I do believe that Conrad was criticizing  the imperialism that led to the horrific treatment of Africans.

Kurtz was believed by his company to be hiding large amounts of ivory. That is why the company sent Marlowe to find him. There is a lot of debate about what drove Kurtz mad - was it his obsession to find ivory, or was it the power he found he could exert over the simple natives? In any case, Kurtz was overtaken by evil. He was a madman driven to mad deeds. He claimed he was civilizing the Africans, but he was killing them.

When Kurtz dies, he utters the words "Horror! Horror!" and because of this, Marlowe believes he has repented of his evil deeds and he remains loyal to Marlowe, even visiting Marlowe's fiancee later. But I'm not so sure about this. I have always preferred my own interpretation -- that on his death bed, Kurtz was getting a glimpse of where he was going, to the judgment that he deserved for his evil life, and THAT was the horror that he could see. When one has a "heart of darkness" then one winds up in the ultimate darkness of hell.

What do you think?

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