LitLink

This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Conrad: Heart of Darkness

In Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," Marlow discovers that Europe, Africa, and Kurtz all relate to each other in some way. Through Conrad's novella, we learn about Kurtz through the eyes of Marlow and that he represents all of Europe. It states in this novella that "All of Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz." This quote was implying that because Kurtz's mother was French and his father was English, many different parts of Europe contributed to his making. Marlow notices this unique aspect of Kurtz's heritage and is able to conclude that Kurtz, Europe, and Africa are all related. Africa is related to Kurtz and his European upbringing in that fact that Kurtz is in Africa working for the Company to make money. Kurtz was the Company's only hope for making money in Africa. The slaves looked at Kurtz like he was a God-like figure and were all afraid of him because he would either kill them or enslave them if they did not agree to work for the Company. While Kurtz was working for the Company, Europe believed that the Company was there to enlighten the natives and teach them about civilization; however, that was not the case at all. Kurtz and the company use the slaves to their advantage to make money. Between the harsh and unjust treatment of the "criminals" and the wrong impression Europe is under, Kurtz in the end becomes exactly what the company represented. He realizes this as he is dying when he looks out the window in disgust at everything that is going on. There is also a reference to this in the novella on page 84 when Kurtz asks Marlow to "close the shutters." This is implying that Kurtz does not want to see the "horror" outside as he realizes what he has become.

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