Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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How does Kurtz symbolize colonial powers in Heart of Darkness? Please explain with references.

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Kurtz is the symbol of colonialism in this novel. As Marlowe states:

All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz.

Colonialism involves the appropriation of another group of people and their territory in order to claim its resources as your own. In Europe in the nineteenth century, it also involved "civilizing" the "natives" and teaching them the superiority of white culture.

Kurtz symbolizes the greed of colonialism. One of Kurtz's jobs as a trading station manager in the Congo is to obtain ivory for the Belgians. He collects more ivory than...

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