Exploring the Horror of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

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Exploring the Horror of Heart of Darkness

"The horror, the horror!" Kurtz exclaims prior to his last breath of life on earth. In those final moments, Kurtz was able to say something so true about the whole mess of human life. A life dominated by the fittest, perceived differently through each human eye, and full of judgement lacking understanding of all sides. The various ways the world is viewed causes many problems amongst its people. Whether they are about racism, wealth, or even common sense, conflicts are still subject to arouse. Why? The answer to this is not yet clear because of its complexity and endless variables. Yet what is clear is that it ties into two other aspects-prejudice and social Darwinism or
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The reason behind the trip to the Congo is given a different purpose by each of the characters. Marlow's aunt views it as a missionary to civilize its people and possibly become followers of her belief in Christianity. Marlow on the other hand, sees in it the opportunity of the occupation of his dreams and a chance to meet the mysteriously fascinating Kurtz. Most of these views, however, are judgements of situations out of fear and misunderstanding.

The most commonly made mistake throughout the world in past and present is prejudice. Judging without the true understanding of all aspects of a situation has caused entire civilizations to collapse. People will do incredibly stupid things when they are scared and uneducated about others. During the trip upriver to meet Kurtz, the Pilgrims are extremely fearful of the alleged "cannibals", because of their skin tone, appearance and little understanding of them. These Cannibals were overworked, poorly fed and generally distrusted or disregarded by the pilgrims. After getting to know the Cannibals, Marlow began to view them in a different way and eventually grew closer with them then he did with the pilgrims. The Natives were seldom referred to in human terms, and usually described as though they were animals. A possibility for this is their "different" appearance in comparison to a typical European and their ways of life in the jungle. Yet physical…