Discuss the Corrupting Influence of Power in Heart of Darkness

Topics: Good and evil, Native Americans in the United States, Corruption Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: April 11, 2014
Discuss the Corrupting Influence of Power in Heart of Darkness The corrupting influence of power is expressed by the evil souls who represent imperialism. Many of the characters are examples of evil against purity of the soul.

The corrupting influence of power is firstly noticed by Marlow, when he sees the way the pilgrims act with the natives. The brutalities he encounters are not quite the image he imagines. He soon gets used to seeing these unpleasant situations. Marlow is able to see through the materialistic ideals that had plagued the men before him. Marlow has the open-mindedness and sensitivity that was absent during Imperialism, but doesn't have the courage or power to stop the abuses that were ongoing. Marlow realizes that the European’s perception of civilization is actually artificial. It is a mask created because of the fear that their evil deeds might become public and that this “civilization” is actually imperialism. In the beginning Marlow is determined to find justice, but his desire to do good grows increasingly futile when he sees a world where there’s no such thing as absolute goodness. Later in the novel it is obvious that He can no longer distinguish good from evil. The author uses black and white repeatedly to describe good and evil. Although the "invaders" are white, Marlow describes them as having black souls, while the oppressed blacks are described as having pure and white souls. An example for the absurdity and evil of the pilgrims compared with the pure souls of the natives is the scene where Marlow notices how the pilgrims decided to throw a dead body overboard while the savages distress a proper burial. The corrupting power is mainly expressed by the character which Marlow is most fascinated of. Actually he’s not the only one who admires Kurtz. It is the native people who are mostly influenced by Kurtz’s intelligence and His distinction from the others. Kurtz appears different from the other whites with the fact that he’s...
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