November 22, 2012
Is there just One hero in Joesph Conrad's “Heart of Darkness?”
In the story “Heart of Darkness” there are a series of characters, but two particular men stand out; Marlow and Kurtz. Who is the hero; Marlow or Kurtz? Clearly both Marlow and Kurtz are the protagonists of the story; however, protagonist and hero are not always synonymous. Marlow is the hero in the traditional sense of the word, while Kurtz is the more modern hero, often referred to as the anti-hero. Does it really matter the background of a person to determine whether they are a hero or not? Throughout this paper I will prove to you that Kurtz and Marlow both have aspects the identify their heroism. Marlow starts out as your everyday man, trying to put some food on the table. In the story Conrad introduces him as being philosophical, independent-minded, and generally skeptical of those around him. He is also a master storyteller, eloquent and able to draw his listeners into his tales. Although Marlow shares many of his fellow Europeans' prejudices, he has seen enough of the world and has encountered enough white men to make him skeptical of imperialism. His original plans were to make money, but his journey turns into so much more. His expedition turns into a quest to find and save Kurtz, and to understand the people so many were prejudice against. Marlow is considered a god, whose acts are similar to the acts of Buddha. Marlow is made equal to this spiritual figure, and in a way that his job is to teach people things that they might learn and become enlightened. Kurtz; the chief of the Inner Station and the object of Marlow's Quest. Among Kurtz's many talents are his charisma and his ability to lead men. Kurtz is the man who understands the power of words, and his writings are marked by an eloquence that obscures the horrifying message. He is more multi talented, intelligent, and is unworried by other's views of...