Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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How does Marlow feel when he finally meets Kurtz? Was it a dramatic moment in his life?

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Meeting Kurtz was a life-changing moment for Marlow; the fact that Marlow tells the tale of Heart of Darkness is evidence of the meeting’s dramatic impact on his psyche. Marlow’s meeting with Kurtz is not simply a dramatic moment, it is the climax of the entire journey! To demonstrate just how central Kurtz is to Marlow’s narrative, here is a partial catalog of the references we encounter along Marlow’s journey which, remember, is being told as he reflects on his experiences.

Marlow first hears Kurtz’s name upon his arrival at the Outer Station in the Congo when The Accountant mentions in passing, “In the Interior, you will no doubt meet Mr. Kurtz.” When pressed, The Accountant reveals only that Kurtz is a “remarkable man” but refuses to discuss the matter further, except to disclose that he gathers more ivory for the Company than all the other traders combined. The Accountant makes an odd request of Marlow: he asks that he tell Kurtz that “everything here is very...

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