Book Analysis: The Heart of Darkness

Topics: Truth, Civilization, Reality Pages: 3 (956 words) Published: October 8, 1999
By: Jen Armstrong

The Heart of Darkness The search for truth and knowledge consumes us all at some point in our lives, but we don't always find what we are looking for in Truth. We wish it to be definitive, but more than that, we search for it with the strong belief that we will find it and be pleased, pleasantly enlightened, and will live better lives for it. In Heart of Darkness, it is shown that this is seldom true. Kurtz was destroyed by the truth he discovered about himself and the world he lived in. He had known and believed a "white" truth about the world he knew. His white truth was one of civilized, genteel ideas and actions. Living amongst the privileged few, the artists, musicians, orators, and other cultured people, he knew nothing of the dark depths of the human heart. When confronted with those horrible realities, he was forced to learn the "black" truth about life and people. His mind couldn't comprehend the truths he had to accept; it was totally contradicting to what he knew, and so he crumbled, selling his soul to sit among demons and devils. He was hollow inside, had no sense of moral or social responsibility, and the black truth he discovered ate away and destroyed him. He regressed to savage behaviors he had previously repressed and let the darkness fill the cold void within him. Because he knew so much blackness, he was unable to live in society again. He crossed over and relinquished all ties to the civilized world, for he had lived the white truths to an extreme, so did he live the black truths. Kurtz showed what happens when the white truths and lies of society are taken away. Kurtz lived and found sustenance in that reality, when it vanished and was replaced by another, darker world, he folded. In our society, we live by restraint. For Kurtz in Africa, all the restraints were removed and he was allowed to have as much candy as he wished, even before dinner. This proved to be too much for him, he went to an extreme and was destroyed...
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