How Does Kurtz Criticize Imperialism

Decent Essays
In the context of this story, the word “primal” is used to describe something that is innate and instinctive. The word “primitive”, on the other hand, is used to describe something that is rudimentary. There is a fine line that exists between these two terms, but the distinction is a necessity in the analysis and understanding of concepts and characters that exist within Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In Marlow’s observations of the European ivory traders, he uses, the “flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly” (1964) as a metaphor for imperialism. He criticizes imperialism and the promoters of imperialism because their missions have not been executed in a clear or effective way. Without much order, the primal…show more content…
Even though, “the wastes of his weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now – images of wealth and fame revolving obsequiously round his unextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression” (2004), he was clear about his purpose. “My Intended, my station, my career, my ideas – these were the subjects for the occasional utterances of elevated sentiments” (2004). Kurtz, had an imperialistic view of possession; he wanted to have things, but because he had a clear message, Marlow found him to be a “remarkable man” (2005) and not like the “weak-eyed devil” that represented European imperialism as a stereotypical whole. Rather than hiding behind an illusion that he is selfish for the betterment of others, Kurtz is frank about his desires. Marlow sees in Kurtz this admirable quality and only wishes that he had something in which to be so passionate about. Joseph Conrad utilizes the essential differences between “primal” and “primitive” to tell the story, Heart of Darkness. Through Marlow, the reader is posed with existential questions on personal beliefs and humanity. A resounding theme of the story is the emotional journey for purpose and the idea that it is not enough to find a purpose, but to be candid in the fulfillment of said
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