Heart of Darkness
Uploaded by Admin on Nov 21, 1999
In Heart of Darkness it is the white invaders for instance, who are, almost without exception, embodiments of blindness, selfishness, and cruelty; and even in the cognitive domain, where such positive phrases as "to enlighten," for instance, are conventionally opposed to negative ones such as "to be in the dark," the traditional expectations are reversed. In Kurtz's painting, as we have seen, "the effect of the torch light on the face was sinister" (Watt 332).
Ian Watt, author of "Impressionism and Symbolism in Heart of Darkness," discusses about the destruction set upon the Congo by Europeans. The destruction set upon the Congo by Europeans led to the cry of Kurtz's last words, "The horror! The horror!" The horror in Heart of Darkness has been critiqued to represent different aspects of situations in the book. However, Kurtz's last words "The horror! The horror!" refer, to me, to magnify only three major aspects. The horror magnifies Kurtz not being able to restrain himself, the colonizers' greed, and Europe's darkness.
Kurtz comes to the Congo with noble intentions. He thought that each ivory station should stand like a beacon light, offering a better way of life to the natives. He was considered to be a "universal genius": he was an orator, writer, poet, musician, artist, politician, ivory producer, and chief agent of the ivory company's Inner Station. yet, he was also a "hollow man," a man without basic integrity or any sense of social responsibility. "Kurtz issues the feeble cry, 'The horror! The horror!' and the man of vision, of poetry, the 'emissary of pity, and science, and progress' is gone. The jungle closes' round" (Labrasca 290). Kurtz being cut off from civilization reveals his dark side. Once he entered within his "heart of darkness" he was shielded from the light. Kurtz turned into a thief, murderer, raider, persecutor, and to climax all of his other shady practices, he allows himself to be worshipped as a god. E. N. Dorall, author of "Conrad and Coppola: Different Centres of Darkness," explains Kurtz's loss of his identity.
Daring to face the consequences of his nature, he loses his identity; unable to be totally beast and never able to be fully human, he alternates between trying to return to the jungle and recalling in grotesque terms his former idealism. Kurtz discovered, A voice! A voice! It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength...