Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Heart of Darkness, what was Kurtz's paper about?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,092 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Marlow recalls reading Kurtz's report to the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs and begins by commenting on the paper's eloquence. As Marlow reiterates the first paragraph, he mentions that in hindsight the paper strikes him as ominous. Kurtz begins by writing that the white Europeans should appear to the Natives as "supernatural beings" and approach the Natives as mighty deities. Kurtz then continues to write about how once the European colonists attain authority they can begin to exert their power for the good of the native Africans by civilizing the region. At the end of the "altruistic sentiment," Kurtz concludes the paper by writing, "Exterminate all the brutes!"

Essentially, the paper is Kurtz's blueprint for establishing colonial authority among the natives in the Congo, introducing them to civilization, and exterminating them in the region. While Kurtz's original intention for writing the paper was to focus on altruistic forms of imperialism, his true...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 589 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,277 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write1,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial