Darkness resides in everyone. whether people want to acknowledge it or non. Sometimes the immorality is elusive. like concealed maltreatment while other times it is beyond obvious. like race murder. Whether it is elusive or known. that darkness will eat off at a person’s psyche. Kurtz was an intelligent individual and respected back place. What happened? He gave into the darkness and unleashed it upon the indigens in Africa. In Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad uses Kurtz’s last words as a acknowledgment of life picks and a announcement of penetration to the effects of let go ofing the darkness within.
On the surface Kurtz’s last words. “The horror! The horror! ” ( Conrad. 69 ) . can be accredited to Kurtz live overing his life before he dies. Some people use the stating ‘my life flashed before my eyes’ after being in a close decease experience. Since Kurtz was deceasing. it is likely he saw a rematch of his life. Why would Kurtz be horrified about that? Harmonizing to his intended.
“ [ H ] is goodness shown in every act…” ( Conrad. 76 ) . so what did Kurtz hold to worry about?
Kurtz worried about the goodness of his actions. Could it be the goodness his intended had mentioned was shown in the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs where his eloquent words teemed with understanding for the indigens? However. Kurtz erased any goodness when he wrote “Exterminate all the brutes” ( Conrad. 50 ) at the terminal. Therefore it can be assumed that whatever goodness Kurtz had before his occupation in Africa. it was gone now. In fact. as Kurtz saw his life travel by him one time more. what he saw horrified him. Everybody in Heart of Darkness views the indigens as barbarian. inferior animals and they are possibly demeaned the most by Kurtz. At the Outer and Central Station the inkinesss were physically beaten and starved. Marlow describes them as “ [ B ] undles of acute angles” ( Conrad. 17 ) . and they looked like they were “in some image of a slaughter or a pestilence” ( Conrad. 17 ) .
The Europeans did non care about the indigens and acted consequently. They physically brutalized the indigens and were apathetic to whether or non the indigens died. Kurtz was no different. He demeaned the indigens merely every bit much but in a different manner. Much like a cult. Kurtz gathered the indigens. poisoning their heads. The Russian explains to Marlow that the indigens had such a great fear to Kurtz that “They would crawl…” ( Conrad. 58 ) to him. Yes. like some idolizing rite. the indigens demeaned themselves by nearing Kurtz on their custodies and articulatio genuss. It was non merely the ‘common’ native people either. but the great heads every bit good.
Kurtz was an graven image to be praised. a leader to be obeyed. and a dictator to govern. He subdued his enemy. the ‘rebels. ’ by lodging their caputs outside his window. Marlow remarks. “They would hold been more impressive. those caputs on the bets. if their faces had non been turned to the house” ( Conrad. 57 ) . Why would Kurtz make that? The caputs did non confront the landscape warning people off. but towards the house so Kurtz could see the lifeless faces gazing at him. It is possible that he did so to remind himself of the guilt of slaying people. but that is extremely improbable. No. alternatively of a reminder of guilt. those faces were a reminder of victory. Kurtz had done it ; he subdued the ‘rebels’ that kept him from acquiring tusk. Not merely did he repress the ‘rebels’ . but he besides captured the Black Marias of the other indigens. They loved him so much that they attacked a soft-shell clam merely so Kurtz would non go forth. However. like a true cult. the indigens were merely following Kurtz’s orders. It is learned from the Russian that “ [ I ] T was Kurtz who ordered the onslaught to be made of the steamer” ( Conrad. 63 ) . Upon his existent going the indigens saw him off sorrowfully.
The sarcasm though is that Kurtz did non desire to go forth the Inner Station every bit good. Why did he non desire to go forth? Kurtz did non desire to go forth because darkness consumed him. Darkness filled Kurtz’s psyche to the point where Marlow remarks. “ [ H ] is psyche was mad” ( Conrad. 66 ) . Silence and purdah caused Kurtz to go huffy. though he had plentifulness of company. His native lover is described as “ [ S ] avage and superb. wild-eyed and magnificent…” ( Conrad. 60 ) . Possibly that is the ground why he went mad. He had company to be certain. but barbarous company. He had no cultured or civilized people to discourse affairs with or person who came from the same background to trade narratives with. Kurtz was left absolutely entirely in his ideas. which caused him to go filled with darkness. The darkness is in everyone ; nevertheless. Kurtz lacked the restraint to maintain it shackled indoors of him. It is perchance that deficiency of restraint that scared Kurtz the most as he watched his life travel by him. He relived every minute as saw the adult male he had morphed into. Kurtz had become a adult male who killed shamelessly. threatened everyone. and whose lone end was to happen tusk. As Marlow puts it “To speak obviously. he raided the country” ( Conrad. 55 ) .
Ivory was his kept woman. tempting and teasing him to go on in his dark way. All of the vile workss. he did in the name of tusk. His deficiency of restraint destroyed him. and that is what he saw before he died a broken. ugly. and huffy adult male. Now that is what he saw as his life flashed before him. but some can state that what he saw was something much deeper. Kurtz was a evildoer. an impenitent evildoer. Therefore it is non that much of a stretch to state Kurtz saw that he was traveling to hell. Hell is described by many as a fiery cavity from which there is no flight. It is where a individual will populate in ageless torture for the workss they committed on Earth. Sister Faustina was a individual who saw snake pit in a vision. She claims that “Each psyche undergoes awful and indefinable agonies. related to the mode in which it has sinned” ( Bibleprobe. com ) . Now Kurtz’s last words make a little more sense.
His call. “The horror! The horror! ” ( Conrad. 69 ) . can be understood as him recognizing his effects for his actions. Due to his cruel and unfair intervention of the indigens. and for leting the darkness in his psyche out his psyche shall be in Hell for all infinity. It is in Hell where Kurtz receives the ultimate penalty. an infinity of agony and desperation. To reason. Joseph Conrad has Kurtz’s last words in Heart of Darkness be a declaration of the effects of unleashing the darkness within. The immorality that spread in Kurtz’s psyche was all consuming. It was the perfect mixture of subtle and obvious. However. due to his deficiency of restraint. Kurtz died a troubled and condemned adult male. He may hold seen his life flash before him. but he besides viewed his penalty. Eternity in Hell is his penalty. for it is filled with impossible horror.
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