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Thread: Part III Regarding BELIEFS/ILLUSION

  1. #1
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    Post Part III Regarding BELIEFS/ILLUSION

    Does Conrad seem to be setting up two kinds or qualities of reality? How can you reconcile this statement?

  2. #2
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    Conrad does set up multiple realities within the novel. There is the reality of the whites which is the 'civilized' reality. This reality is presented as one of class and order. The second reality is that of the natives. This reality is looked at as a barbaric one. The jungle the natives live in is often described as prehistoric and the way that they live is viewed as animalistic. The ironic part is that the whites are far more brutal than the natives. Their western culture and imperialistic views have actually brought out a far more innate greed that even the natives haven't tapped into. If you ask me, the Europeans are acting more like animals than the people of the Congo are.

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    There only is one reality. However, Conrad seems to be setting up two perceptions of reality. He has one side, like the one represented by Kurtz’s Intended who only sees the good in people like Kurtz. She admires Kurtz and can only see him as a remarkable man. It is amusing to see the internal struggle Marlow has to endure just to go along with what she is saying and to avoid saying the truth of Kurtz’s actions. The other side of reality is the one Marlow experiences firsthand. He sees the corruption and cruelty that goes on in the Company like when the Europeans obviously kill the natives and have no care for their deaths. One side can be represented by greed and cruelty and the other can be represented by innocence and care.

  4. #4
    I do believe Conrad seems to be setting up two kinds or qualities of reality. The novel idolized Kurtz as this powerful, hard-working man who cares for his people and business. Kurtz has many talents which include painting and music. Although Kurtz is seen as a wonderful idol, he also has a dark side. He is seeing two woman at once, greedy over the possession of ivory, does not care for the European conduct rules, and is selfish. Kurtz is basically living a two person life. His idolized side outshines his dark side which is why people are so charismatic and dedicated towards him and his wants. Kurtz is seen as a man that you only listen to not speak to. His words are too powerful for a lower class man.

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    Conrad does seem to be setting up two kinds of reality. Throughout the novel there are contradictions everywhere. At some points Marlow praises imperialism, while at others he is overly critical of it, and the same goes for Kurtz who criticizes imperialism, but at the same time exploits native Africans. The imperialism is justified by the "intention" of bringing light and civilization to Africa, but in reality they only bring darkness, cruelty, and misery. However, back in Europe, Kurtz's Intended is naive about everything and truly believes in the efforts of European imperialism. Clearly, Conrad is creating two realities and it is ambiguous, leaving the reader confused about his own intentions.

  6. #6
    Conrad seems to be setting up two kinds of realities throughout the novel. The first contradictory reality he poses is how everyone views Kurtz as an idol, a man with great power, and someone who should be looked up to and praised for his amazing work. On the other hand, Conrad also shows Kurtz as a greedy man who is selfish and only works to make ivory by exploiting the natives through un-imperialistic tactics, going against they ways he was taught. Through these two realities, one must judge Kurtz on their own and try to grab a good idea of who Kurtz is really supposed to be. Another reality that is shown in two different ways is the way Marlow views his fellow Europeans. At some points throughout the book, he criticizes his peers and is against their imperialistic tactics, yet at other points in the book he is full for it and continues to degrade the natives just like the Europeans. He can't seem to agree or disagree with how the Europeans should treat the natives and how this whole imperialism thing should work. Both Marlow and Kurtz have two varied realities and the reader has to decide which Conrad is trying to portray more.

  7. #7
    In Part III, Conrad does seem to present us with two different qualities of reality. This includes the way that Marlow does not envy the Russian, or others he's come into contact with, for being so devoted to the likes of Kurtz, yet the reader has an insight to Marlow's mind, so we know that he truly does admire Kurtz, even if he thinks of that man as just a voice. Even with that thought in our minds, we are faced with the fact that even admirers of Kurtz avoid talking too much about him, as, "it was dangerous to inquire too much"(35). It seems that throughout this story, Marlow loses respect for Kurtz anytime he runs into someone who worships him, almost as if they're blindly following him and they haven't realized the extent of danger and loss that he has caused the Company.

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    It appears that Conrad sets up an optimistic view and a pessimistic view of reality. throughout the story Marlow portrays both of these two kinds of realities. His view of Kurtz represents the optimistic aspect of his personality and his belief that they were all going to die after being attacked represents the pessimistic aspect of his personality. Although Conrad sets up two kinds of realities not everyone can see the world in two different perspectives. While Marlow sees both the good and the bad, people like Kurtz's intended (representing all women in general) can only see the positive and ignorant aspect of life. She only saw Kurtz as a good man, a perfect man, but was blind to his sins, his greed, and anything that would show a negative side of his person.

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    Conrad initiates two impressions of realities in the novel; he twists the facts and justifications to illustrate these realities. One of the realities is the European reality, which seems to be refined and naive. This reality depicts all Europeans who fantasize over 'morally correct' decisions carried out in Africa. On the other hand, the other reality is the truth behind imperialism shown by Kurtz's testimony and Marlow's observation. This reality portrays the harsh condition of the natives, how they are treated, and how Europeans are startled of the culture shock. Ironically, the European reality Conrad characterizes is sadistic which most Europeans think that the natives are the real savages. Both of these realities are interpreted differently due to the fact that Conrad uses ominous depictions of each reality, leaving multiple variations of what is real versus what is fabricated.

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    Throughout this novella, Conrad has been setting up two kinds of reality; both the positive and negative aspects of European involvement within Africa. Women are portrayed as unaware of the truth and are seen to be naive and ignorant to the negative actions that the Europeans are continuing to be involved in. Kurtz particularly, at the beginning of the novella, is also unaware of the horror and cruelty that he/they are placing upon these Africans. However, by the end of the novella, as Kurtz is about to pass away, he exclaims “The horror! The horror!”. Kurtz realises that what the European’s have been doing, is wrong, which shows that he does realise what he has been doing all this time is inconsiderate to the Natives. The Natives symbolise the savagery within the nation and the Europeans continued inability to end this uncivilisation.*They are typically ruled by Kurtz, again showing the influential power that the Europeans have over the Natives. Although the Europeans, especially Kurtz, orders and manipulates the Natives, the Natives still admire, and respond to his orders. Marlow always sees the best in everyone, including Kurtz. By the end of the novella, Marlow wants to keep Kurtz’ reputation, of how he once was, rather then who he had become, when talking to his relatives. He has extreme sympathy, and see’s both the good Kurtz did with regard to the natives, but also the corruption that Kurtz put upon the ivory trade.

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    Conrad is indeed attempting to create two distinct kinds of realities in the story. The first reality that Conrad depicts in the story is that many goals and motives in life are generated and supported by one's own greed. Simply, people make decisions based upon how it affects themselves and often do not care how others are affected. This is demonstrated in the story when many of the station managers claim that they wish they could be in Kurtz's position and wish that they could be a part of the major business. Also, this reality is represented in the story by the constant optimism demonstrated by the pilgrims and how they always seemed like they were willing to work because they wanted. The other reality that Conrad depicts in the story is that when people achieve full power and full economic success, they often become corrupt and are never satisfied with what they have. In the story, Kurtz is originally described as being a charismatic man who seemed to be almost God like. However, as the story progresses, it becomes evident that Kurtz had to take part in some nasty and inhuman behaviors in order to reach the success that he originally desired. Thus, Conrad is able to demonstrate how easy it is to be corrupted when a top of a business or corporation.

  12. #12
    I think Conrad does seem to be setting up two kinds of reality, the civilized world in which Marlow was accustomed to and the savage world in Africa. In the civilized world, which Marlow comes to hate, people are pretentious and they are all safe, going about their petty tasks with little danger to their immediate lives. However, in Africa everything is different, Marlow seems to always be on the lookout for those wishing him harm and priorities seem to shift. Time does not matter anymore and lives are freely dispensed with. I think the only way I can reconcile with this statement is to accept the fact that when you go to different places, the expectations and mannerisms can be different. Your values will change and one must be a survivalist everywhere.

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    It does seem like Conrad is setting up two kinds of realities. There is the reality of the whites and the reality of the natives. The reality of the whites is is the civilized reality. This reality consists of order and technology. The natives reality is barbaric and brutal. The natives don't have a sense of what the the Europeans reality is because they have never experienced it. These realities are ironic because the natives reality is thought of as the more savage but really the Europeans act in a more savage way than the natives.

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    Conrad does set up two kinds of realities. An example of this is Kurtz. Most people see Kurtz as a god to them, and is known as a remarkable man of special skills and talens in the company. The reality is that Kurtz is a selfish and man who covets money, wealth, and power. As people see Kurtz as an idol to them, the real side of Kurtz is that he's cruel becaouse his greedy and selfish attitude.

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    I think Conrad does seem to be setting up two kinds of reality throughout the story; people who have a voice and those that do not. I think everyone has a voice, it is just whether they use it or not. He seems to admire those whose with a voice, who use it, and say what they have to say.

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