Heart of Darkness

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Elvira Correa Lazaro
March 1, 2013
AP Lit/ Mr.Tow
Heart of Darkness: Take Home Essay
2012 Prompt
In Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, the geographical surrounding shape the psychological and moral traits in Kurtz, one of the characters of the novel. Especially because it shows the savagery, and lawless environment of the uncivilized lands, which allows Kurtz to almost forget all the European ways, and it also illuminates the work as a whole by bringing the question of what would happen to us if we were to be taken from a civilized world to an uncivilized world.

Kurtz is one of the characters of the novel that is able to show who he really is and who he has become through his stay with savages. He is able to show an embodiment of Europe, an assault on European values, and that he has become like a tyrant. Like Marlow, Kurtz wished to travel to Africa in search for adventure and to do philanthropic ideals, of “humanizing, improving, and instructing”(pg.96) the Natives, which was in his initial report to the Company. In the jungle, Kurtz, enjoyed the taste of power and he soon abandoned his philanthropic ideals, and he raised himself on a pedestal. He used to have a concern on how to he was going to bring the “light” of civilization to the Inner Station. But he descended into madness that he will not able to save himself, and as Marlow says that Kurtz has truly gone to the “farthest point of navigation”(pg. 70)
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