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Corruption In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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Conrad’s Heart of Darkness deals with a never receding and constantly approaching “immense darkness” found throughout society (Conrad 122). The looming darkness induces an “inscrutable intention” to place oneself above others and assert dominance. Though this darkness remains inscrutable it simultaneously contains tremendous significance to daily life: it provides an example of atmospheres which augment ethnocentric and greedy tendencies, so that we, as readers, may act with more care and awareness. Marlow’s narrative reifies the reality that one cannot escape ethnocentrism once it poisons him or her. Through analysis of Europeans culture in addition to the cause behind both Marlow and Kurtz’s corruption, one can gain a clear and explicit view…show more content…
Kurtz originally sought to enter into the center of Africa because in this place his actions had no limits and “there was nothing on earth to prevent him” from doing as he wishes (Conrad 92). Due to the lawlessness of the land Kurtz entered the heart of darkness “with thunder and lightning”, an immense power that the Africans “had never seen”, so that the Africans would “adore him” (Conrad 92). The Africans thought so highly of Kurtz’s power that “they would not stir till Mr. Kurtz gave the word” (Conrad 95). The ethnocentrism and greed of Europe that Kurtz grew up with responds positively to this adoration; therefore, Kurtz continually felt a pull towards the natural African world. Kurtz’s true intentions of helping the Africans remain alive deep with him. In fact, “he hated all this”, but “he couldn’t get away” due to the tight grasp the ethnocentric greed ingrained in his mind has on him (Conrad 93). Kurtz shows that corruption occurs when one grows up with ethnocentric and greedy surroundings and later experiences a surroundings where the Europeans’ ultimate possession – power – finds itself
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