Essay on the downfall of kurtz

1272 Words 6 Pages
The Downfall of Kurtz

Enveloped within Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Kurtz fails for many reasons and in many ways. Kurtz's failure is especially tragic because he once had the potential for great success. He was an eloquent, powerful, and persuasive speaker who at one point was adored by all the inhabitants of the heart of darkness, the great and mysterious jungle. Everyone from the innocent natives to the administration of his corrupt company was in awe of him. Why then, did someone with such amazing promise fail?
     Even from the beginning, Kurtz was made out to be an icon, an idol. To Marlow, he was the only thing that made sense in the company, on a journey, in a wilderness full of confusion. The
…show more content…
The manager was continuously described as nothing more than ordinary, thus it was not shocking to learn of the corruption that he encouraged in the company.
Mr. Kurtz was the "chief of the inner station" (Conrad, pg. 28). He was "in charge of a trading post, a very important one, in the true ivory country." Kurtz sent in "as much ivory as all the others put together" (Conrad, pg. 22). The company described him as the "best agent, an exceptional man, of the greatest importance to the company" (Conrad, pg. 25). Kurtz went to the jungle for many reasons, but mostly to make money to return to Europe and marry his intended. Marlow "heard that her engagement with Kurtz had been disapproved by her people. He wasn't rich enough or something." He had given Marlow "some reason to infer that it was his impatience of comparative poverty that drove him out there" (Conrad, pg. 74). He had been driven into the jungle to procure money for the company and for himself and for his life with his intended. Greed is what kept him out there so long and clouded his mind regarding thoughts of nobility.
Spending so much time in the savage jungle dehumanized Kurtz. He lost sight of the thin line between goodness and corruption, as did many others before him. Kurtz ended up raiding the country on his frequent ivory expeditions. He had a tendency to become cruel, once even threatening to kill his friend, the Russian. This makes the reader

More about Essay on the downfall of kurtz

Open Document