An Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness Essay

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An Analysis of Conrad's Heart of Darkness In the twentieth century, nihilistic themes, such as moral degeneration, man's bestial instincts at the core of the soul, and cosmic purposelessness, have preoccupied many works of literature and philosophy. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is no exception. In his novel, Conrad uses a unique writing style to explore man's fundamental fallibility and moral confusion in an existential world through…show more content…
Finally, in the book's resolution, Marlow visits Kurtz's Intended and not having the heart to tell her the awful truth of man's dark soul, lies to her about Kurtz's last words. Running throughout the book is the theme of the heart of darkness, which is in man. Though at first darkness is referred to superficial ideas such as the undiscovered and mysterious lands at the heart of Africa or the African¡¯s dark skin, it is soon made clear that the true darkness is the evil in man¡¯s heart, beneath all of society¡¯s expectations of him. If left to his own devices, as the Company employee was, man would run wild and evil. To be left unaccountable to any superior authority is more than any man can bear, and eventually his own evil will drive him mad. This is what happened with Kurtz. Renowned at first for his ingenious ideas of bringing education and civilization to the dark continent of Africa, Kurtz eventually degrades himself as Marlow soon finds out when he finds Kurtz wasted away physically and morally. Consumed by the monster that lies dormant at the bottom of every man's soul, Kurtz is openly brutal in his repression of the natives and even allows
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