Similarly, Conrad’S Heart Of Darkness Explorers An Actual

1172 WordsMay 1, 20175 Pages
Similarly, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness explorers an actual Imperial narrative. This novel traverses morality in the inverse of the aforementioned allegorical reading of Dracula, as the protagonist goes from imperial England to the Congo. The protagonist of the novel, Marlow, goes up the Congo River in search of a highly reputable ivory trader named Kurtz. Prior to his spiral into insanity, Conrad describes Kurtz as a man of “promise”, “greatness”, a “generous mind”, and a “noble heart” (2008-9). Hearing of this reputable Victorian man, Marlow sets out to meet him, only to discover that these descriptors no longer fit the man he finds in the heart of the Congo, even if they ever truly fit him at all. As Marlow describes Kurtz at the start of…show more content…
As Marlow describes: You should have heard [Kurtz] say, 'My ivory. ' Oh, yes, I heard him. 'My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my - ' everything belonged to him… Everything belonged to him—but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible—it was not good for one either—trying to imagine. (1989) Kurtz acts as an emblem of the imperialist, taking possession of not only the native people of the Congo, but also everything around him. Marlow notes Kurtz’s ignorance in thinking that he can own all of these things, expecting to hear “the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter” (Conrad 1989). Kurtz’s privilege and, therefore, lack of understanding of the native people leads to his corruption by the heart of darkness. Losing his morality and sanity, begs the question as to whether or not Kurtz was moral to begin with and questions the standards of Victorian and Imperial England. Paralleling the notion that the character representing moral corruption cannot survive, Kurtz, like Dracula, meets his demise. Kurtz dies voicing his ominous and ambiguous last words, “The horror! The horror!” (Conrad 2007). Conrad never explains the meaning of these word, allowing the audience to extrapolate the realization

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