Heart of Darkness Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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In Heart of Darkness, what does Marlow mean when he refers to Kurtz's voice?

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In Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," the narrator Marlow is making his way up the river Congo into the depths of the Company's territory to retrieve its star agent, Mr. Kurtz, who has fallen ill. Kurtz has been an unseen but constant presence in the story since Marlow joined the Company. Everyone has an opinion about the man, for good or ill, even those who have never met him. Marlow becomes fascinated by Kurtz and his fascination intensifies the further upriver he travels. Kurtz is at the most remote ivory station in the territory, so reaching him is very difficult. The closer Marlow gets to Kurtz's station, the more the mythos surrounding Kurtz deepens, as what were vague rumors on the coast are now solidifying into unsettling testimonials from people who know or have been influenced by him. The Russian traveler is one such person, who evangelizes for Kurtz as if Kurtz were some kind of divine figure:

[The Russian traveler] rattled away at such a rate he quite overwhelmed me. He seemed...

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