One of the effects of living in the wilderness is physical alteration. Kurtz is deathly ill by the time that Marlow’s steamboat can “rescue” him. Kurtz transforms into the very object he craves—ivory, with his bald, white head (Cox, 1974). He is sharply visualized to show his sickness: an “animated image of death” more than anything (Guerard, 1986). His ribs and bones stick out of his decrepit body to emphasize his illness. The physical changes reflect the spiritual and psychological battle that Kurtz struggles with. Marlow’s journey in Africa has also left him knocking on death’s door. Though the physical illness eventually leaves Marlow, his soul is haunted from the horrific incidents he encounters.
Without the restraints of society, temptation exists to give into pri...
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Insane [Def. 1]. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/insane?q=insane.
Singh, Frances B. (1988). The Colonialistic Bias of Heart of Darkness. In Robert Kimbrough (Ed.) Heart of Darkness: An Authoritative Text Backgrounds and Sources Criticism. (pp.268-280). New York, NY: Norton & Company.
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