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The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Satisfactory Essays
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
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