Books and Movies Reviews

Defining the

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is considered among the best English works of literature.It is a story of a man named Marlow who journeys up the Congo River while working for a trading company.There Marlow encounters an English ivory trader that has hypnotized a group of natives to be under his control.The sequence of events that follows reveals Conrad's views on the exploitation of the Congo. To best understand Conrad's Heart of Darkness, we must closely look at the scene of Marlow taking Kurtz out of the wilderness and their interactions up until Kurtz's death.It is in this scene that Conrad describes the indecency of human existence that Marlow has come to see in the wilderness, and explains that "the heart of darkness" is not the corruption itself, but the ability to recognize the evil that lies within the heart.
The scene begins with Marlow describing their departure from the rain forest, explaining that "The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down toward the sea…and Kurtz's life was running swiftly, too, ebbing, ebbing, out of his heart into the sea of inexorable time" (62).Just as Marlow and his men are being carried out of the "heart of darkness" of the wilderness, so is Kurtz's soul leaving his own darkness.The languagesuggests a the involuntariness of both situations, as the current is responsible for the boat's action, andKurtz's life is compared to a river, "ebbing, ebbing" into the sea.They are both, however, "running swiftly," as is fleeing by the quickest means possible.This shows the power with which Kurtz's heart and the Congo are contaminated. The fact that Kurtz's death is the only way for Kurtz to depart from his heart suggests that Marlow is also dying by leaving the Congo.Marlow's death is not literal, but only part of his soul is dying because of a…