Paper: The Characterization of Marlow and Kurtz in the Novel "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do(1633). Marlow never vocalized a lie; he simply allowed others to continue to believe an untruth. First, the brick-maker thought Marlow was more influential than he actually was, and Marlow allowed him to continue to believe this. Secondly, the intended thought her fiance was a good man so Marlow allowed her to continue to believe this also. As a child, Marlow had a passion for maps and it appears that he still does. He has a particular ambition to investigate the blank space of delightful mystery, indicating Africa, which was gradually being filled in with names and features as it was explored and colonized. For Marlow, the journey up the Congo becomes a pilgrimage to meet Kurtz, the man of reputedly brilliant talent and eloquence who sends down more ivory than all the companys other traders put together(90 Reilly). Gradually, as the people that Marlow despised began to defame Kurtz, he (Marlow) became more interested in meeting him (Kurtz). Marlow, desperate to retain his illusions, wanted to meet a man reputed to be an emissary of pity, and science and progress(124Schwarz). Marlow tried to put the best possible interpretations on his motives: Perhaps he was simply a fine fellow who stuck to his work for his own sake(124Schwarz). The more Marlow became more disillusioned, the more Kurtz became the goal of his quest. The more Marlow learns about Kurtz, he fears that he might turn into Kurtz, he is nonetheless able to emerge from the Congo with his ideals, morals and his civilized character intact, although somewhat sure of himself(159Meyer). After Kurtzs death, Marlow takes with him the knowledge of human nature that he gains from him. He says, | remembered his abject pleading, his abject threats, the colossal scale of his vile desires, the meanness, the torment, the tempestuous anguish of his soul(). In many respects, the view of Marlow is that of a typical European....