The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

745 Words3 Pages
The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad’s masterpiece, The Heart of Darkness, speaks of many characters with many different characteristics and personalities. It contains characters from all standings of society. In every case, except for Marlow and Kurtz, the characters are referred to by their position. Albeit the name of Fresleven, the man who commanded the steam boat on the Congo before Marlow, is mentioned, he is dead. The only characters that are called by name after that point are Marlow and Kurtz. These characters are set apart from the others in the novella. They are the two main characters of the story, however, there is something else that makes these two figures worthy of being called by name. Marlow and Kurtz are the only ones named because they do not hide who they are, everybody else does not see the truth, and they are the only ones who achieve enlightenment. Marlow goes into detail about two types of devils in the story, the weak, flabby devils and the strong, red-eyed devils. This refers to the types of people that he comes across on his journey. The weak, flabby devils are evil, but do not show it. These people attempt to hide the fact that they are doing wrong. Most people that Marlow comes across are weak, flabby devils. These people all remain unnamed because they hide who they are. An example of a person who shows this characteristic is the General Manager. This man hates Kurtz. He even goes as far as to say, “We will not be free from unfair competition till one of these fellows is hanged for an example.” He is speaking of hanging somebody in the group that Kurtz has with him. This shows that the Manager dislikes Kurtz because of how successfully he is in obtaining ivory. Despite this, he pretends to care about Kurtz, who is suffering from a sickness. The two named characters, Marlow and Kurtz, go about things differently. Kurtz shows this in his writing. This man has a different view on the natives, which varies much from that of

More about The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Open Document