Analysis Of Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

Analysis Of Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

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“He cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath–
The horror! The horror!” (III, p. 178). There are many horrifying things in the world which are of all different orders of magnitude, from disasters that effect millions to insignificant fears of an individual: from catastrophes such as the holocaust to subtleties such as spiders. Conrad, in the Heart of Darkness shows each order, on it 's own level, all in one statement. The eminent Kurtz uttered the aforementioned quote as he was breathing his last, and incorporated all three levels of despair into his last two words. Through Kurtz ' words “The horror”, Conrad was not only displaying Kurtz ' inner darkness, but also the evil in the society, as well as the evil found in every man.
Kurtz, a character to whom all of the rising action is dedicated in Heart of Darkness, has reason to have despair in the novella because of all he had done to the natives and because of his deceptive lifestyle. Kurtz stole from the natives often. He would find their hidden ivory and take it for the company. Kurtz stole not only their ivory, but also their worship and admiration. Kurtz was carried around on an improvised stretcher by the natives like a king, and when streams of natives surrounded the station, the Russian trader remarks that, “If he [Kurtz] does not say the right thing to them we are all done for” (III, p. 166). The Russian had apparently been at the mercy of a native tribe in a similar situation before, and has confidence in Kurtz to be able to get them out of it, which again demonstrates the authority Kurtz has over the natives. Through this way too, Kurtz has been living a lie and acting like a god to the natives, when he is only using them for their ivory. Kurtz lives a lie ...


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... well, while the savages below deck are thought to be cannibals and their only supply of sustenance was “a provision of hippo-meat which went rotten” (II, p. 138), and was later thrown overboard and they are left starving. There are no redeemable virtues to be seen about the people put in power, but those who are oppressed show glimmers of good value through their disparaging positions.
Through Kurtz ' words “The horror”, Conrad was not simply displaying Kurtz ' inner darkness, but the evil inherent in society, as well as the evil found in the heart of every man. Throughout the Heart of Darkness Conrad uses concurrent themes of despair, evil, horror, darkness. Man often acts cruelly and wickedly within the novella and without. Man doesn 't need to look far to see evil; not far past the mirror. Which leads to the question, are men only evil– are hearts only darkness?

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Analysis Of Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay

- “He cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath– The horror. The horror!” (III, p. 178). There are many horrifying things in the world which are of all different orders of magnitude, from disasters that effect millions to insignificant fears of an individual: from catastrophes such as the holocaust to subtleties such as spiders. Conrad, in the Heart of Darkness shows each order, on it 's own level, all in one statement. The eminent Kurtz uttered the aforementioned quote as he was breathing his last, and incorporated all three levels of despair into his last two words....   [tags: Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, The Horror]

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