Heart of Darkness
Uploaded by Canadian Bacon on Jun 11, 2001
“Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision-he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: The horror! The horror!”
What horror is Kurtz recounting as his final words? Truths lie inside the inner soul of all human beings, it is just a matter of when and where they will come out. Kurtz choose to let his be known as his passing words. An epiphany, a passing glimpse, the realization of what he has created and destroyed, willingly, or blindly going about hacking through the jungle blindfolded, searching for something of extrinsic importance. The narrator of Heart of Darkness never lets the reader know what Kurtz was speaking about. I believe Conrad wanted his audience to judge for themselves the importance of Kurtz’s words. Finding literal, as well as deeper meanings, in the novel becomes very apparent when basing the context of Kurtz’s words from a thematic standpoint. His word’s can be broken down on three levels: the first, dealing with the obvious literally sense of horror representing all the dead Africans, who died at the hands of the Kurtz in his lusty quest for ivory; the second, delves into an important theme relating to the book, which is human savagery, Kurtz must have realized he had become what he hated most; Lastly, on a abstract level, his finally word’s would have represented the society of European Imperialism that had molded Kurtz and formed him into a by-product of the mixture, which culminated together to create colonial, imperialistic attitudes.
It is shear terror to imagine the magnitude of the scale on which atrocities of death, murder, and genocide had taken place against the Africans. Death is a very silent, dirty scene. Nobody has ever been able to recount their tale of death, for no doorway has been found that any person can use to return. Kurtz’s inner station was, responsible for gathering more ivory than all the other stations combined. This task, viewed on its own merits, is a tremendous accomplishment, showing Kurtz’s fortitude in achieving his goal. When the reader sees what methods are used to gather the ivory, the true nature of “the real cost” becomes apparent. The Africans were used as slaves, Kurtz’s own tribal followers, who obeyed each and...