Heart Of Darkness Analysis

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Throughout Heart of Darkness, the protagonist is constantly stating the importance of working and keeping busy. On pages 109 and 110, Marlow is travelling down the river with a fireman. Marlow is busy repairing various mechanical problems the steamboat is having. The fireman is helping him and Marlow comments on how good of a job he is doing. This indicates that Marlow appreciates a good worker.
Earlier on in the novel, Marlow expresses his views on work. He views work as more than just a way to make money. Marlow looks at work as a way to discover more about yourself and as a way to build character.
On page 111, Marlow finds an older book on sailing called An Inquiry into some Points of Seamanship. While looking through the pages, he admires the amount of work that was put into composing it. All of the information about each topic amazes him. Marlow views the book as a physical, tangible object that shows someone’s work, which gives doing work a purpose.
This quote from page 70 points out the futility of the European’s presence in Africa. This is caused by the Europeans taking away from the people of different races and “flatter noses.” These people journey to other parts of the world, then take their resources and possessions, and ultimately claim it as their own. The Europeans go to other countries looking for easier routes, resources, and trade. However, when they stop on foreign lands, they change the way of life for the native population. They bring disease, customs, religion, et cetera, which is then forced onto the natives. This quote highlights the meaningless presence of Europeans in Africa.
In Heart of Darkness, the main character Marlow is being exposed to a whole new side of the world. He is on a trip down the Cong...

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...arkness is coming to an end, Kurtz and Marlow are heading back to civilization in England from the Congo. Kurtz is in rough shape. He is mentally and physically exhausted, slowly dying on the boat. Once it is understood that he is going to die, he cries out “The horror! The horror!” The horror that Kurtz is referring to is everything that he has witnessed and done with his life while he was in the Congo. These two words repeated sum up his experiences that we see from Marlow’s perspective. Kurtz’s demise was a product of everything that he had done in the Congo with the company. In the end, all of his hard work was not even worth it. He died and left all of his fortune in the Congo, where he had no one to leave it all to. Kurtz’s reflections on the way he lived his life are essentially all being brought back to him in his final moments as he yells out “the horror!”

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