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cerebra3
11-29-2006, 04:05 PM
what is "the horror! the horror!" (conrad 154) that Kurtz relates to Marlowe before he dies?

Why does Marlowe lie to Kurtz's fiancee at the end of Heart of Darkness?

bergerac
12-11-2006, 07:22 PM
It really is simple why Kurtz said "the horror, the horror" at the end of the novel. He was relating back to all the horrible things that he had done. There were skulls in his front yard which also alluded to the fact that Kurtz wasn't the nicest of people. He became obsessed with finding ivory and ravaged the country basically.
The reason why Marlow lied to Kurtz's intended was because she had worshiped him so. She had been mourning for about a year and wanted some bit of hope. At the very beginning of the novel when Marlow is talking to his Aunt he says that women should remain in the dark. He says that they shouldn't be allowed to know of all the darkness in the world. They should just stay in their own little world. What Marlow knew about Kurtz would basically destroy his Intended. Kurtz was not the man that everyone believed. The darkness had over come him and he was a changed man.
I hope that answers your question.

Ilthigore
12-12-2006, 03:08 PM
I believe bergerac's response, though correct, is somewhat simplistic.

The meaning of "The Horror! The Horror!" has been the subject of much academic speculation, and, while it is certainly arguable that the above explanation is Conrad's intention, I had always got the impression that Kurtz was expressing his horror at Humanity's heart of darkness, not merely his own, and his horror at how, underneath, all of civilisation and human achievement is a hollow sham and gives way to the jungle and the darkness.

gnad
12-28-2006, 11:06 PM
Ilthigore has most of it right. But his term "sham" is a bit overzealous. Why is the contradiction, and bloodthirstiness of human nature a sham? It's only a sham if you feel that personality and culture result of syllogisms. In life 1+1 are often not 2. Underneath the pyramids and various monuments to man's greatness are the remains of tortured masses that built those monuments. Can you have the one without the other?