• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Analysis of Kurtz's Death Scene in Heart of Darkness

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, as the steamer starts on its journey back from the inner station, Kurtz is dying. Conrad compares Kurtz's life to the current. He is also haunted by images of his past, causing a fitful sleep which Marlow observes and analyzes. Here, readers learn a little more about Kurtz's regrets at the same time as he does himself. Conrad parallels the river current and Kurtz's life ad coming death. "The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness...and Kurtz's life was running swiftly too," which could mean that even though they were moving away from the dark jungle, the eivl had already taken root in Kurtz's soul and become an inseparable part of him, and he was getting weaker. The manager is also in sync with the river, as he is described as "placid," which fits with the current's calm swiftness. The manager had a "satisfied" expression because he was pleased with how close to death Kurtz was (so that he might receive a promotion). The "brown current" also paints a muddy, gloomy picture which goes along with the sombre mood and Kurtz's health. ...read more.

Middle

In a fitful sleep, Kurtz cries out intermittently. His voice is described to have "survived his strength" and remained powerful, even when his body and spirit were weak. Even when Kurtz is in this diminished state, Marlow still uses descriptors such as "magnificent folds of eloquence" and "inextinguishable gift of noble and lofty expression" to describe him, which shows that he is still amazed by the corrupted man. With Kurtz's utterances, "my intended, my station, my career," he reinforces that he was egocentric and only cared about his work. It also becomes clear that the thought himself supreme and lacked respect for others when "he desired to have Kings meet him at railway stations." In this passage, much of Kurtz is revealed through his speech, even while he is close to death. Throughout the passage, repetition is used. For instance, when comparing Kurtz's life to the current, Conrad writes "ebbing, ebbing," which gives a calm, gentle feeling, like Kurtz was gradually slipping away. Then when describing Kurtz on the journey, repetition is used with "a voice! A voice!" and also "he struggled! ...read more.

Conclusion

He then says to "the invisible wilderness," "oh, but I will wring your heart out yet," which shows that even though he is on his way out of the darkness (literally, via steamboat), the darkness is still battling with him. Towards the end, Conrad once again brings up the river, saying that "the long reaches were like one and the same reach, monotonous bends that were exactly alike." Because the river was previously compared to Kurtz, it is possible that Conrad means that there are also other men just like Kurtz who appear one way but are dealing with something much darker under the surface. Conrad could mean that everyone's life is like this (also "with secular trees looking patiently," referring to people who are watching you and see you in a false light) although maybe not to the extent as Kurtz. The passage as a whole describes Kurtz as he is dying, and allows readers to know what he is really thinking (since he is only half conscious) as opposed to just being exposed to what he chooses to disclose. The passage shows that he is not just hardened, but a tortured soul and moving towards remorse for his actions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Chapter Analysis

    This is reinforced by "seeing her hands no longer at her mother's command". Through this, we can see that Tita is exploring new ways to exist. In addition to this, Tita first makes communication though writing in this chapter. This can be related to the sense of freedom that she

  2. Hamlet ACT I Scene I:1

    spirituality, truth, and uncertainty, or, more specifically, the uncertainty of truth in a world of spiritual ambiguity. Since Hamlet does not know what lies beyond death, he cannot tell whether the ghost is truly his father's spirit or whether it is an evil demon come from hell to tempt him toward destruction.

  1. The spirit is too blunt an instrument analysis

    She draws parallels between a shell and the baby's ear. A shell, is generally covered with intricate designs and patterns. The shell is used as a metaphor for the baby's ears. The poet has chosen the ear to delineate that even the smallest part of the baby has the complexity similar to the designs on a shell.

  2. An analysis of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

    Guy Montag is Bradbury's image of how he too would be the imperfect hero, being misguided and clumsy, but would fight frantically to preserve literature.23 The reason he has mirrored himself with the rebel in this story is because of his message being sent out in the novel.

  1. Comparative Seminar Analysis- Women of Sand and Myrrh and Rasie the Red Lantern

    The author uses this metaphor to help depict what Maaz is without Suzanne. Through this literary device, one can imagine that Maaz is frail and vulnerable to foreign women. One can being to comprehend that their expedition to America Maaz was aroused by the differences in the newfound society.

  2. World Lit. - Comparative analysis: Death and The Maiden and Ghosts

    He goes further to say that Oswald has "inherited a worthy name from an industrious man" (Ghosts, p.16), and that it should be an inspiration to him. Already it can be seen that Oswald is haunted by the "ghost" that is the memory of his father4.

  1. an evil spirit

    Love and beauty is so powerful that they torture him in most extremity. "And tortures me in most extremity" he says. Though the speaker loves the woman a lot, he cannot receive any response from her and inaccessibility of her beauty tortures him.

  2. Cat's Eye and Such a Long Journey

    She imagined God as someone who would answer all her problems in a heartbeat. In reality, sometimes life doesn't turn your way all the time, and Elaine did not know that. This may be why she converted into a Catholic and worshipped the Virgin Mary.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work