"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad - A character analysis of Kurtz.
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Character Analysis Kurtz Kurtz is the man who Marlow searches for through the Congo. Marlow's search develops into an obsession and when the search has ended, he only finds a shadow of a man that was once Kurtz. Kurtz was a man who had achieved great things in his life, inspiring each person he had come across and was expected to accomplish more. He came into the Congo with great plans for civilizing the natives, however he became greedy, which ended up being the subject of his own demise. 'I had immense plans...I was on the threshold of great things'. Kurtz's main characteristics were his ability to talk passionately to people and inspire them with his words.
Kurtz was an exaggeration of the white people who had come to Africa for money. Kurtz's greed for ivory became extreme and even made him violent and aggressive. He was the idea of the self-made man that was the American dream. It was thought that any man could travel and be wealthy materially and spiritually. He was living that dream for a while, before it swallowed him whole. His ego inflated and he believed himself to be a superior being such as God. He let himself be worshipped among the natives and encircled himself with darkness and evil. Hence, his ideals had changed from his journey through Africa.
Without restraint from his own culture, Kurtz's basic instincts were released. Kurtz's appearance had dramatically altered as well. He was extremely thin and had a baldhead; he had also lost the ability to walk. From being a God to the natives, he soon comes to despise them. He sees them as rebels, which is why he has stuck heads on sticks outside his hut. 'Exterminate the brutes' In the end, Kurtz dies just after he has come to realize that he has become the heart of darkness. He is an embodiment of evil and he highlights this by saying, 'The horror! The horror!' Kurtz was an imperialist who was a symbol of colonization, and a symbol of the jungle.
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