What does Marlow want to have from Kurtz?

Asked on by Brisage

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I suppose really Marlow doesn't "want" anything concrete from Kurtz. He associates Kurtz with the irresistable attraction of the un-mapped central parts of Africa, and as he discovers more about Kurtz, he feels an association with him that grows throughout the rest of the novella. Not only are they linked by their common European heritage, but also Marlow becomes fascinated by Kurtz's story and his ideals concerning colonialism.

By the end of the story, however, Marlow has discovered than another link binds them together - the infinite corruptability of mankind, no matter how noble their intentions are. Kurtz's final words ("The horror! The horror!") can be said to represent a judgement on humanity and our ability to be corrupted without the restrictions of society to keep us in check.

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