Kurtz as Satan

Topics: Heart of Darkness, Devil, Apocalypse Now Pages: 4 (1672 words) Published: December 21, 2011
There was a reason that European colonizers were nick-named the "white devils." They slithered their way in like serpents and turned the known world of the natives into a world of chaos. Every white settler was a Satan in his own way. Mr. Kurtz, a leading character in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is the prime example of the white devils in Africa, following the pattern set out by John Milton for a perfect Prince of Darkness in Paradise Lost in his portrayal of Satan to a point. Their characteristics and motivations are paralleled in almost every sense, differing only in the backdrop and in the ends that these characters meet.

Once the similarities between Satan and Mr. Kurtz start, they never seem to end. It's as though Conrad clicked copy and paste and saved the image under a new file name. Both began as angels of their world, Satan as Lucifer aspiring to dethrone God and become the ultimate power himself, and Kurtz as a genius of his society, being remembered as a prominent musician, politician, and humanitarian. But we all know that both Satan and Kurtz are far from the benevolent followers of the light; rather they are the evils that exist in our world. Satan is the template for the devil incarnate we see in the Kurtz that exists in the depths of the Congo, who is in turn an embodiment of all the evils created by free enterprise. Kurtz and Satan are presented as highly gifted individuals, advanced thinkers with silver tongues ready to bend you to their will. Their downfall is that they are devoured by their own greed that overpowers their original, good purpose in life.

The similarities begin with their journey to their present condition: both are tempted by a forbidden fruit, attempt to become god, experience a fall from grace, and are swallowed by the darkness. Originally called Lucifer, Satan is the rogue angel damned to suffer for his sins against God. His forbidden fruit is the temptation of being as omnipotent and omniscient as God and...
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