The Nature of Evil in Humanity in the Book, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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In Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, the cultural collisions illustrates the struggles Marlow experiences as he questions the nature of evil in humanity. Marlow compares his experience in Africa as the Romans did “nineteen hundred years ago,” they both were shocked when they got there. When Romans came long ago they did not expect to see anyone, and when Marlow came he expected something different. He thought that the natives were happy to have civilization and wanted to integrate into their society. But he was wrong, they were being treated as “criminals” and were not even respected. He knew that something else was going on there. The men that were there were just “lusty, red-eyed devils” looking for their fortune. They did not…show more content…
This is similar to the brickmaker’s situation. He says that since he has no straw he cannot make bricks. He is showing his lazy characteristics when he does this. Conrad uses of biblical allusions helps his argument of man’s inhumanity to man by showing us the evil that is in the root of civilization. Humanity is tainted with sin and evil and Conrad is highlighting the fact that some humans will always be evil. At the end of his journey he realized the reason that everyone who went on this expedition was trying to make their fortune and that is how Kurtz eventually died. His “appetite for more ivory had got the better” of him. No matter what the cost to himself and the people around him, he was going to be the best and get the most money. His selfishness eventually caused his death when the manager downstream would not send food because he hoarded all of the ivory all to himself. Marlow knew that Kurtz was very serious about his job when he saw “heads on the stakes” in front of his house. Which could have been a warning to other people who try to come get his ivory. But the interesting part was most of the heads are faced toward his house. Kurtz wanted attention and loved to have power. These heads could be there to adore him just like the natives when he was with them. Kurtz search for power and wealth left in its wake death and destruction, showing that humanities quest for wealth leads to destruction.
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