The Importance Of Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1040 Words5 Pages
Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness follows Marlow, “the only man,” who “still follow[s] the sea,” (11) as he recounts his mystery-fuelled journey through the unearthly and savage Congo. As Marlow ventures into “the heart” of “conquering darkness,” (69) his quest to meet Kurtz, a proclaimed “universal genius,” (68) becomes riddled with puzzle pieces, that guide his mental and physical journey to a climatic finish. Throughout his journey, Marlow becomes exposed to the atrocities that lie within the daunting heart of darkness such as imperialism and the tragic effects it has on its victims. The fundamental mystery of Kurtz’s identity and the clues throughout the investigation, propel Marlow to a climactic epiphany, showcasing the theme that darkness only exists in the hearts of men. As, Marlow reaches the Outer Station -- the first stop during his “investigation” where he meets the chief accountant a “white man,” with “unexpected elegance,” who later…show more content…
After leaving the Inner Station, Marlow’s realizes that Kurtz’s “was an impenetrable darkness,” and he looked at him as you “peer down at a man,” lying at the “bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines,” (65) and sees a “change,” that “came over,” Kurtz’s features a change that he hopes to “never see again” (65) a “moment of complete knowledge,” as if he had lived “his life again in every detail,” that drives him to cry out twice ‘The Horror! The Horror!’ (66). Kurtz’s final climactic realization reveals that he [Kurtz] has been consumed by the terrors of imperialism, he allowed himself to be completely and utterly immersed and became the epitome of imperialism. His final epiphany also leads Marlow to his ultimate realization that darkness only exists in the hearts of men because during his final moments Kurtz was able to view all of the darkness inside of his heart which led him to cry out “The Horror! The Horror!”
Open Document