Exploring Insanity And Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

Decent Essays
Landon Eschman Mrs. Byrnes AP Literature 7 October 2016 Exploring Insanity and Imperialism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness In the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the speaker follows the story of Marlow-- an English ivory trader on the Congo River. Throughout Marlow’s travels throughout the Congo River and Central Africa, he hears many impressive stories about a mysterious and powerful man named Mr. Kurtz. One example of Kurtz’s positivity on the Company occurs after Marlow arrives at his company’s station in a rocky area along the coast of the river. During Marlow’s first meeting with the manager and the other white men, Marlow states, “I interrupted [the manager] by saying I had heard of Mr. Kurtz on the coast. ‘Ah! So they talk of him down there,’ he murmured to himself. Then he began again, assuring me Mr. Kurtz was the best agent he had, an exceptional man, of the greatest importance to the company;” (Conrad 22). The manager’s behavior while discussing Mr. Kurtz and the condition of his station gives Marlow the impression that Kurtz is an extremely valuable part of the company’s operations and a…show more content…
In the beginning of the novella, Marlow is excited to meet Kurtz and learn from his great skills in ivory trading and witness first-hand the Kurtz the manager and brickmaker have talked with reverence about. With all of these expectations upon him, Marlow finally starts to travel to the inner station to gather ivory and bring it to the central station to send it back to Europe. As Marlow first encounters Kurtz right before he finds himself at the inner station, Marlow notices that there is something peculiar about Kurtz that the others failed to pick up on or
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