What is the central question in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness?

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There are several pertinent questions, conflicts, and themes found throughout Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. One central question could be, "How does colonization affect the spirit of the colonizer?" Throughout the novel, the white travelers journey deeper and deeper into the heart of the African jungle. As they journey, they also travel figuratively deeper into the heart of colonization and the effects it has on their minds, spirits, and inner stability. While white supremacist ideology would say that Africa and Africans are reflective of all that is evil and impure and that European civilization is reflective of all that is good and pure, the behavior of Kurtz, and his eventual demise, reveals the exact opposite. As Kurtz becomes further and further engrossed in the brutal project of colonization, he appears to lose his humanity and all the good that can be found in humanity.

The horrifying behavior of Kurtz and his eventual downfall are reflective of the inherent evil in colonization....

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 909 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 6, 2020
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