Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Why is the Russian still alive in Heart Of Darkness?

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That depends on who or what you think is going to kill him, and at what point.

When we first meet him, he's been a disciple of Kurtz 's for some time (Kurtz "expanded his mind"), and thus under Kurtz's protection--if he even needs any protection. Kurtz isn't interested in killing him because he isn't one of the "brutes" Kurtz has decided need to be killed. He apparently doesn't contradict Kurtz, either, thus giving Kurtz no reason to hurt him ("You don't talk to that man--you listen to him")....

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