Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Is Conrad's Heart of Darkness, is Marlow sent to find Kurtz and bring him back, or is he just intrigued by Kurtz and "drawn to him" so to speak?

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In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Marlow is sent by the Company into the depth of the Belgian Congo, first with the job of retrieving the body of a captain (whose place he has been hired to take) who "had been killed in a scuffle with the natives." Later, he is asked to bring Kurtz back for the Company.

Beyond his Company responsibilities, Marlow does become more intrigued by Kurtz. Depending upon who he gets his information from, Kurtz—and his ability to ship so much ivory—makes him almost god-like to some. This vision of Kurtz is often based upon his financial value to the Company, rather than for his character.

Reaching the Inner Station, the Company's accountant describes Kurtz to him, that he was a "first class agent" and...

'He is a very remarkable person.'...Mr. Kurtz was at present in charge of a trading post, a very important one, in the true ivory-country...'Sends in as much ivory as all the others put together...'

At the Central Station, Marlow overhears two company men—an uncle and his nephew—speak about Kurtz in terms of how Kurtz stands in the way of their own progress because Kurtz is unsurpassed in shipping ivory out from the Inner Station.

Over time, Kurtz's existence is interwoven with praise, criticism, and a reputation of mythological proportions. Marlow is not quite sure who the true person of Kurtz actually is.

Marlow admits little interest in Kurtz, but he is curious—as was the doctor who had examined Marlow for his captaincy on the mainland —as to the change in a man once he enters the interior regions:

I was curious to see whether this man, who had come out equipped with moral ideas of some sort, would climb to the top after all and how we would set about his work when...

(The entire section contains 635 words.)

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