Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Marlow is associated with Kurtz as a member of "the gang of virtue." Explain the implications of that phrase.

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In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Marlow is put up on a pedestal by the brickmaker (the "Young Agent"), a "gentlemanly" sort of man who the other agents don't associate with—thinking him a spy for the Manager. It would seem that he not only keeps to himself, but that he had designs on one day being the "Assistant Manager." 

The term "gang of virtue" is the brickmaker's way of referring to a "new generation of leadership" selected by the Company. He erroneously thinks, because Marlow's affluent aunt recommended him for the job, that Kurtz and Marlow have been hand-picked by the Company to lead the way into the colony's next wave of financial success.

Marlow has asked the brickmaker who, exactly, Kurtz really is:

`The chief of the Inner Station...He is a prodigy...He is an emissary of pity and science and progress, and devil knows what else. We want,' he began to declaim suddenly, `for the guidance of the cause intrusted to us by Europe, so to speak, higher intelligence, wide sympathies, a...

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