In Joseph Conrad’s book, “Heart of Darkness”, the character Kurtz did not “go native”, but instead got corrupt by his power. For one to “go native”, one must “completely embrace the ways of life, the customs, the languages, and the laws of the natives” (Wintroub 1191) and even siding with the natives (Wintroub 1200). Kurtz shows that he does embrace the ways of life of the natives, but that he chooses to rule over them as a deity and command them to do his bidding.
Throughout the book, Kurtz shows no sympathy to the native people nor views himself as one of them, but instead he treats them with such cruelty and views them as lesser beings to himself. The International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs, an anti-slavery society, asks Kurtz to make a report “for further guidance”, and Kurtz writes that the whites need to appear to the natives as deities as the white man had a superiority over the natives because of their advanced technology and the progress and devolvement they achieved and states to “exterminate all the brutes” (Conrad 1056). He views these natives as savages in need of a superior and the white man serves as that superior. Kurtz shows no signs of “going natives” because people who do “go native”, get to a position where outsiders cannot tell the difference between them and the real natives, without having them have a different appearance from each other (Wintroub 1204). Kurtz may know the natives’ language and their culture, but like others in history who have the language and culture of the enemy, Kurtz only accomplished for the sole purpose of conquering the natives (Wintroub 1192). He uses the natives for his own benefit as he raids their villages and has the villagers “follow...
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...e’s soul that no one, not even that person, knows about, the part that can only show itself under certain circumstances. A once remarkable and admirable man, whose “goodness shone in every act he did” (Conrad 1077) twisted into this cruel and ruthless self-proclaim god when place in a position in where he and the others like him views themselves as the superior race as civilized men among “inhuman savages” and where he stands to gain wealth. Along with “the gentlest, quietest creature that ever walked on two legs” had ruthlessly assaulted a native to “assert his self-respect” (Conrad 1022). The power of darkness corrupts and claim someone as it did Kurtz and they would never know this darkness has a hold on their mind (Conrad 1055) whether they do not view their actions as immoral (DeCelles 686) or they focus too much on the gains rather than the loses (Power 524).
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