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Heart of Darkness Reflection


As specified by Teacher Rosenthal, characters are not individuals, and they are apart of an author’s bag of tricks to make a point. I believe the author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, utilized that character Kurtz as a sign to represent savagery. Savagery can be specified as an unrestrained, intense and hostile person.

I think there is a specific degree of darkness/savagery that lies within every being, but it does not constantly emerge, and if so can dominate to the point of supreme destruction, that is Mr. Kurtz. We come to know and form our opinions about him by checking out the story chapter-by-chapter, told by the character, Marlow.

To totally comprehend Kurtz’ representation it’s essential to first know what the author’s symbolic intentions were when developing the character, and evaluate how the storyteller’s attitude towards Kurtz changes throughout the story. I think Conrad produced Kurtz to make a point to the readers that he is a representation of savagery. Its something to just check out the word, knowing what it suggests, or to simply state something is savage without a meaningful reason. Checking Out Heart of Darkness actually provides a fantastic representation of what savagery really is.

Conrad utilized Kurtz to route us as readers along, unraveling all the secrets that Kurtz portrays. Not just do I believe Conrad connected Kurtz with savagery however with corruption, exploitation, and hypocrisy too. Towards the end of the book, one is actually able to grasp the connection between savagery and Kurtz in numerous ways, however it wasn’t up until the journey continued throughout the story do we recognize that. The narrator, Marlow is constantly open-minded about Kurtz in the beginning, and after that he sees the events going on and ultimately sees how savage his character truly is.

In the beginning of his journey, Marlow hears absolutely nothing but good things about Kurtz. He covets him, he believes he is this remarkable male that he aims to be like and would want to be able to finally satisfy one day. Then, as time goes on, he reaches camp and things unfold. As soon as he reaches Kurtz, he sees all the decapitated heads, and the locals following Kurtz like he is some sort of God like figure. The order that Marlow believed existed in the tribe was no longer there. At this time in the book, we recognize the ignificance of what his auntie informed him before he left for this journey. Marlow meets with her, and she spoke about “weaning those oblivious millions from their horrid ways” (10 ). I definitely think is an example of foreshadowing that we one could have seen early on in the book. She knew that inhuman beings are inside that jungle, the significant one being Kurtz. As specified earlier, we initially think Kurtz is this poetic, refined, creative male … all qualities, I feel, that are similar to imperialistic ones, comparable to a leader or dictator of some sort.

He is charismatic and convincing (hence all of the natives succeeding him). In a way, his character is equivalent to that of the Victorian Era. Conrad wrote this book throughout that duration, so it’s easy to state that was a great motivation for him. Many themes of the Victorian Period were exploitation, corruption, hypocrisy and more … numerous qualities I see in the Congo from Marlow’s description. Because Era, there was economic and industrial progress, and like any society, ideas of self-deception, isolation and isolation were paramount … there was corruption, prostitution and more.

Kurtz was an example of male screening severe circumstances. It is necessary for one to have a sense of place, and it’s hard not to be downhearted when in a situation like one that Kurtz was in. When one remains in this location of chaos, one picks to make something of it and either survive, or stop working; it becomes a matter of life or death. Kurtz took the roll of a totalitarian in this environment and although he did it through savage, corrupt like ways, he had no choice.

Initially reading, I thought Kurtz went from this status figure, to this insane ridiculous guy and had no concept why he was such an exceptional tyrant in the Congo, but after truly thinking about the scenarios I understood … desperate times require desperate procedures; Kurtz did what he had to do and became something that he had no power to stop from growing. After finishing the book, I think Kurtz is loosing his mind while remaining in the Congo, being far from civilization. The longer Kurtz remains in that type of chaos, the more he loses his sanity.

It’s not good for anybody to be in a circumstance where all structure is lost. One thing we do not know from checking out The Heart of Darkness, is whether or not Kurtz has actually always been like this or if its been concealed and Africa is to blame for the out bringing of this Hyde like character. As readers, we are not knowledgeable about the ways that Kurtz lived by. We know he has a lady in his life, but do we understand the type of relationship he promotes with her, or anybody else by that implies? Kurtz is a mystery that we attempt and piece together. Reading this made me believe a lot of about real life, relative to daily people.

Does everyone have a modify ego, and are some more refined than others at keeping it in? I feel that everybody has his or her own location of darkness. Eventually in life, everyone goes through an abstruse phase, Kurtz’ being in the Congo. If I was stranded in an unknown place without any good friends or household, entirely on my own, I don’t know how I would make it. Kurtz is in that exact same scenario; he made it work, and although he has become this savage like character, its how he’s enduring in the Congo. This is the point where Conrad is doing a great task at making the readers truly consider how Mr. Kurtz ought to be represented. This leads us to Kurtz’ last quote prior to he passes, “The scary, the scary” (64 ). Prior to Kurtz blurt his last words, Marlow asks himself, “Did he live his life once again in every information of desire, temptation, and surrender throughout that supreme minute of total understanding?” (64 ). I feel as though Conrad never defines the real meaning of Kurtz’ last words for its as much as us as the interpreters to actually consider what it means. Marlow gives some sort of guidance as what instructions to consider, but I do not really know if I could pin point the real significance.

Returning to whether the Congo made Kurtz turn into the guy he was or not is still the concern. Did he belt his closing utterance since he thought about the horror that was going on around him, or was it who he has become after being in such a horrific place for so long? I genuinely like the truth that Conrad really uses this character in every way possible to get us to think of Kurtz, and I think that’s what made him such an impressive author. He’s able to embody what savagery represents by having these ideas cross our minds as we read throughout this book.

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