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Kurtz Imperialism Essay

Decent Essays
In the late 1900s, most of the world’s “dark places” were being colonized by the European powers. A notable work written in this time period was Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which provides a critical view of European imperial pursuits. However, Conrad’s work is much about heroism as it is imperialism. This character, Kurtz appears briefly but has a significant presence. As Marlow traveled along the Congo River, other characters of the book idolized and saw Kurtz’s potential for greatness along with his charm and ambition. Those qualities resulted in being Kurtz’s legacy instead of his madness and brutality. This was Conrad criticizing mankind’s blindness and their difficulty in understanding the world beyond themselves, and the ability of one man to…show more content…
Kurtz represented the vulgar effect of European powers, and his character was used to symbolize how madness and horror destroyed him internally. "The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and - as he was good enough to say himself — his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French. All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz ...” (Part 2). Since all of Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz, and he went mad in the jungle, it parallels to how Europe contributed something to create madness in human beings. Although Kurtz has a brief appearance in this novella, he was the heart of the darkness that Europeans created. However, every other character in Heart of Darkness lacked the ability to see this madness and brutality. They lacked being critical of the decisions being made in “dark places” like Africa, including Marlow. Human beings fell vulnerable to imperialism being acceptable. Kurtz saw what had been transpiring, but he had been consumed by the jungle, and his ability to judge remained
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