Heart of Darkness Essay

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Often statements have multiple interpretations depending on different perspectives. In the novel Heart of Darkness, Conrad makes the reader use their own knowledge to create themes and emotions. Consistently the theme of the horrific reality is mentioned throughout the novel in several aspects. Joseph’s character Kurtz cries out, “The horror! The horror” (Conrad 86) during his last moments, however there is no obvious meaning and leaves the reader to realize how ambiguities of the quote. The horror that Kurtz is referring to is the guilt he and Marlow feel, the disappointment of dying and the fear of the darkness. Emotional feelings tend to have the effect of guilt when something does not point in a positive direction.

            Many people make a wrong decision that forces them to feel guilty. Joseph Conrad’s idea to show the feeling of guilt through his characters experience working in the Congo. The character Kurtz is very good at what he brings to the Company, however near his time of death he reflects on the inequality that is displayed towards the natives of the Congo. Marlow is unaware of the job that he receives because the life he lives at home is opposite to the life he endures in the Congo and his first impression, “While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all-fours towards the river to drink” (Conrad 20). This quote explains that Marlow witnesses a different type of behaviour by being in a different society and naturally feels guilty about all of the aspects developed countries take advantage of. Both Marlow and Kurtz know that what they are doing is unfair to the natives and the land but they also know that it is their duty to obey the rules of the Company. Authority is a key component of the emotions that the ‘civilized’ and the natives are meant to experience, “It was an affirmation, a moral victory paid for by innumerable defeats, by abominable terrors, by abominable satisfactions. But...
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