Essential Quotes by Character: Kurtz

Essential Passage 1: Chapter 1

One day he remarked, without lifting his head, "In the interior you will no doubt meet Mr. Kurtz." On my asking who Mr. Kurtz was, he said he was a first-class agent; and seeing my disappointment at this information, he added slowly, laying down his pen, "He is a very remarkable person." Further questions elicited from him that Mr. Kurtz was at present in charge of a trading-post, a very important one, in the true ivory-country, at "the very bottom of there. Sends in as much ivory as all the other put together....”


Marlow has come to the Congo to recover the body of a Company captain, Fresleven, who was killed in an argument over two black hens. At the Outer Station, Marlow meets the Company’s chief accountant, who is impeccably dressed and keeps the accounts in immaculate order. While Marlow is waiting to journey further up the river, he visits the accountant, who tells him about Mr. Kurtz. Kurtz is an agent at the Inner Station and most likely the best agent in the Company. It is assumed that he will rise far in business, so great is his promise. Working at a trading post, Kurtz ships out more ivory than all the other agents combined, thus becoming an invaluable financial asset. The accountant, who epitomizes order and civilization in the midst of the chaos of the jungle, elevates Kurtz to a god-like status, one in whom all the hopes of colonialism and civilization reside.

Essential Passage 2: Chapter 2

...You should have heard him say, "My ivory." Oh, yes, I heard him. "My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my—" everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the...

(The entire section is 1337 words.)