Analysis Of Joseph Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay examples

Analysis Of Joseph Conrad 's Heart Of Darkness Essay examples

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A protagonist is defined as a main character who is often considered to be the hero of the story. In contrast, the antagonist is someone who opposes the main hero or character, allowing the creation of a suspenseful storyline. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the readers are introduced to Marlow, who travels all the way to Africa down the Congo River, and slowly loses his sense of righteousness as he further travels down into the depths of the wilderness. His whole journey is fueled by his ambition to meet Kurtz, one of the workers for The Company (the place he works for which collects ivory). Kurtz has allowed himself to be consumed by the darkness of the jungle and it has led him to become more of a barbaric leader who forces a system of colonialism upon the natives of the land. Although, Kurtz does not really oppose or fight against Marlow in any way, he was the miscreant of the book. Kurtz was not the protagonist, but rather a prime example of what makes a villain, which was shown through his change in character while working in the inner station, his savage actions against the natives, and the author’s use of imagery. This reveals how in a society focused on attaining power, moral values and self-identity are lost in the shadows of darkness.
Kurtz’s development into an inhumane brute, affirms his evil nature fueled by his greed for power. After Kurtz died in the steamboat, Marlow went to see his fiancée and she stated that “all of his promise, and all of his greatness, of his generous mind, of his noble heart” were gone (Conrad 115). Kurtz’s fiancées description of him, reveals how he was a charitable man who seemed unselfish. While stuck in the inner station, Marlow described how Kurtz had the “power of eloquenc...


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... readers can recognize his antagonistic characteristics. Kurtz was not the real protagonist of the story but rather the example for Marlow, the real hero. Marlow was the one who escapes the river and although he does succumb to the darkness of it, he does not let it completely take over and control him as Kurtz had. Kurtz was a man focused on wealth and power and failed to recognize just how animalistic he had become. His story reveals how the downfall of man can be caused by greed, and serves his purpose as the monster of the story. Marlow is able to represent the larger part of humanity and how darkness is able to creep into every corner or one’s body, but fails to completely take over. Marlow is able to use Kurtz as an example for what he could become eventually, and this prevented his descent into savagery. Given these points, Kurtz is not the hero of the story.

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