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Heart of Darkness - Essay Example

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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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Heart of Darkness
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Heart of Darkness

Download file to see previous pages... 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— ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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