There are many instances where Marlow shows admiration for Kurtz. This is not openly expressed save at one point in the story, but Conrad takes great pains to establish the character of Marlow as a lover of Truth and what is real. This love of truth and hate for a lie makes the untruth spoken by Marlow at the end of the story even more shocking…
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He says: He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, that goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination—you know. Imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate. This quote serves as pre-emptive explanation for why Marlow could not deny the power Kurtz held over other humans, despite his barbarity. Marlow then goes on to establish his love of reason and things that are real. In describing the appearance of several natives along the shore, Marlow relates: It was something natural, that had its reason, that had a meaning. Now and then a boat from the shore gave one a momentary contact with reality. It was paddled by black fellows. You could see from afar the white of their eyeballs glistening. They shouted, sang; their bodies streamed with perspiration; they had faces like grotesque masks—these chaps; but they had bone, muscle, a wild vitality, an intense energy of movement, that was as natural and true as the surf along their coast. They wanted no excuse for being there. They were a great comfort to look at. For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long. Something would turn up to scare it away. The love of the real and tangible, of work, effort and improvement are themes Conrad returns to again and again through Marlow. The character Marlow likes belonging to a world where things really are as they appear. He does not like intrigues, rumors, or deviousness. He likes steel plates and rivets, honest emotion and truthfulness. The honest work, the seat and effort of the natives was solace to Marlow as he was surrounded by plotting privateers. Marlow’s distain for intrigues and falsehood is embodied by the station manager. Of him, Marlow says: He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect. He inspired uneasiness. That was it! Uneasiness. Not a definite mistrust—just uneasiness—nothing more. This character is so loathsome to Marlow that he doesn’t even inspire a single honest emotion. The manager is held in contempt in every way by Marlow. The only possible complement that can be said of the man is that he survives, but even that is not attributed to any sort of effort on his part. It is simply a result of his constitution. In fact, the whole of the station is repugnant to Marlow. He states: There was an air of plotting about that station, but nothing came of it, of course. It was as unreal as everything else—as the philanthropic pretense of the whole concern, as their talk, as their government, as their show of work. The only real feeling was a desire to get appointed to a trading-post where ivory was to be had, so that they could earn percentages. The station was a mash of plots and intrigues that were so contrived as to never even come to any account. The inhabitants of the station held titles but acted in no manner to accomplish the work associated with the title given. Work, and the importance of it is mentioned by Marlow on several occasions in telling his story. This is important because it is a vital link between himself and Kurtz. Marlow reveals his feelings towards work when he stated: I don't like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work,—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality—
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(“Heart of Darkness Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words - 1”, n.d.)
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(Heart of Darkness Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words - 1)
“Heart of Darkness Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words - 1”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1437623-heart-of-darkness.
Shipments had stopped and they wanted to know why. As he struggles up the river in a broken down steamship, Marlow starts to gain a better appreciation for the realities of imperialism as compared to what it was thought to be back in London. To discuss these deep ideas, he tells the other sailors about them in terms of dark and light symbolizing 'civilized' as opposed to 'primitive' societies.
He conquered Congo, because of its natural resources, especially rubber and ivory. This story focuses on the slave trade and the oppressive conditions in Congo. Marlow’s mission is to bring back Kurtz, a company employee, who failed to come back. Marlow’s journey to the Inner Station exposed realities about the evils of European imperialism and humanity.
The novel describes the wilderness in Congo, the cruel treatment of the African natives by the Europeans and in turn showcases the act of evil committed by the human beings. The novel is written in the narrative form through the words of the central character of the story, Charles Marlow.
Conrad wrote this novel in 1890s during the time when European placed the darkest sites of the world under their control. Europeans scrambled and stretched their powers outside their continent to far parts of Africa. This novel provides an account of European imperial activities in Congo.
Thus, it seems that Joseph Conrad’s work gives the readers a chance to identify how European ideals are darker than the African ones as the work is, in some way, a comparison of both. The novella takes place in Congo. The work is in the form of a narration by Marlow from a barge on Thames.
He searched for Kurtz and encountered a man who took him to a realization that he never expected. The novel depicts imperialism in complex ways. Perhaps the clearest illustration of imperialism was when Marlow reached the outer station. Surrounded by slave workers, with large holes filled with broken machines around him, he said that “imperialism is really composed of the bodies he had seen”.
Marlow initially sees Kurtz as a mad man. He realizes that when in the presence of boundless temptations, any man could go a little mad. He sees the very extremes of madness in Kurtz, the man who couldn't hold on to his soul when a chance for its corruption presented itself.
Conrad does not merely decry the excesses of King Leopold II in the Congo, as a more traditional writer might have done (and as indeed many did), but singled out colonialism as subversive of Western identity, as incompatible with and destructive of the ideals upon the West was founded.