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Thread: Part III Regarding JOURNEY METAPHOR/THEME

  1. #1
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    Post Part III Regarding JOURNEY METAPHOR/THEME

    Marlow speaks of his encounter with Kurtz as being at "the farthest point of navigation and the culminating point of my experience." Explain exactly n what sense Marlow's encounter with Kurtz may be regarded as the culminating point of Marlow's understanding of the nature of man. How far is the meaning of the story concerned with the evil of man in his essential nature? How far is it a story about the disease of modern, social man in history?

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    Marlow has heard story after story about Kurtz and eagerly awaited meeting him nearly the entire story. Kurtz started to become more than a man to Marlow; he became an idol. When Marlow finally meets Kurtz, it seems as if Marlow's journey is complete. Kurtz is described as having a strong voice even when he whispered. This could symbolize his influence over others including Marlow. Kurtz embodies the greed and lust of human nature. When Marlow meets Kurtz, he is on his death bed which represents how the evil inside of him and the evil that he pursued through his imperialistic ideals has consumed him. When Marlow finally meets Kurtz and Kurtz is barely alive, Conrad shows how when humans give into greed, it devours them. This to me is what the entire story is about; men and their greed. Kurtz merely symbolizes the disease that humans are helplessly addicted to. The more, more, more culture. His final words are "The Horror! The Horror!". These words show the anguish and turmoil within Kurtz and how giving in to greed will morally corrupt you.

  3. #3
    Marlow's meeting with Kurtz is the final culminating point of his experience because he can finally put all the stories he has heard regarding Kurtz together. He can finally understand the meaning of man because he successfully come in contact with the legend himself. The meaning of the story is very concerned with the evil of man in his essential nature because when Marlow finally meets Kurtz, he is dying. This is representative of how Kurtz's greed took over his life and essentially ate him alive. He went over the edge within the darkness and went too deep to save himself. This story is very concerned with the disease of modern and social man in history because this disease is what killed Kurtz. His strong desire to gain wealth quickly and colonize these natives is what drove him to his endpoint.

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    Marlow's encounter with Kurtz is the climax of the novel because it's where Marlow realizes "the horror" of colonialism and imperialism. At the time of Kurtz's death, Marlow is forced to look into his own soul as Kurtz had, and he finds himself teetering over the edge into a pit of darkness and madness. Kurtz had fallen in, but Marlow saves himself and gets out of the Heart of Darkness at the last minute. The meaning of the story is concerned with the evil of man in his essential nature to a great extent because the reader realizes that Kurtz went mad as a result of being in the wilderness without restrictions or punishment, which allowed him to grow cruel. It is to a large extent a story about the disease of modern, social man in history because the books shows how modern, social, civilized men cannot survive in the wilderness. The machines don't work in Africa and it all represents the impending failure of imperialism in Africa.

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    Marlow’s encounter with Kurtz may be regarded as the culminating point of Marlow’s understanding of the nature of man, because through his experiences with Kurtz, he was able to see two sides of him. At first Kurtz was this idolized figure with a voice that was listened to by everyone. Towards the end of the story, however, Kurtz transitions into being this greedy and cruel man in the eyes of Marlow. The story is very concerned with the evil of man, as it displays Kurtz’s cruelty in a way that drastically contrasts with how his Intended views him. Kurtz’s natural self was made up of greed and cruelty and it becomes so obvious to Marlow later on in the story after seeing Kurtz for himself. The story is very concerned about the disease of modern, social man, because of the fact that what drove Marlow to his death was the almost addicting like nature of his pursuit of wealth.

  6. #6
    Marlow's whole journey was to meet Kurtz, his "idol". As he spends more time with Kurtz he realizes what a cold and cruel human he truly is. Kurtz has been taken over by the heart of darkness and Marlow is following right behind, but he saves himself. Kurtz's life revolves around his powerful self image and obsession with this job. He does not care about others but wants all the riches for himself. Before he dies he shouts, "The horror! The horror!" and this shows that he sees how depraved human nature is. The disease of modern, social man is Marlow's passion and desires almost defeat him due to creating a heart of darkness.

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    Marlow's encounter with Kurtz may be regarded as the culminating point of Marlow's understanding of the nature of man because throughout Marlow’s journey in Africa, with and without Kurtz, he saw two sides of him. Kurtz was idealized in Marlow’s mind and worshiped almost as a deity, however after meeting Kurtz, Marlow saw the side of Kurtz that personified death. Marlow realized that this wilderness, this heart of darkness, is what turned this perfect man into a man who had “fallen of the cliff” and gone mad. The purpose of the story is show that every man has evil in himself, but is only brought out in certain scenarios. This imperialistic idea that Europe has of Africa is one of the things that brings out the true evil in man, and just as Kurtz went mad so will every man if they endlessly try to civilize and conquer something that cant be. This story shows how modern and civilized men slowly get diseased as they try to conquer Africa, which represents the darkness in Africa and the darkness that imperialism can bring upon man.

  8. #8
    Marlow’s journey to meet Kurtz is also a journey of idolizing Kurtz. He has heard nothing but great things of this mysterious man and Marlow is eager to meet him face to face. When he does finally meet Kurtz it is the opposite of what he expected. Kurtz represents the dark side of people and what can happen when that side completely takes someone over. When Marlow reaches Kurtz, Kurtz is long gone replaced by a hollow, greedy, mad man. The author shows us how greed it devours people and takes over their lives when they experience it through Kurtz's deterioration.

  9. #9
    In this story, Marlow's encounter with Kurtz can be explained as the culminating point of understanding the mystery of the man because he begins to realize that the only noticeable aspect of Kurtz is his voice, which is what he used to impact people in order to benefit himself. In the end, Marlow seems to come to terms with the reality of "Kurtz" and how he was really just a man that helped to improve the Europeans' place in a foreign country. Almost the entirety of this story is based on the evil of man, which has been placed in the role of Kurtz. Seeing as he controls the actions of native tribes, it is clear to us, the reader, that Kurtz has no good intentions for them.This is a story based on both past and present times because when he's trapped himself in the center of Africa, Kurtz has allowed himself to become primitive, almost like the natives themselves, like he's returned to a former state of mankind. But, he also displays characteristics of a social man in present day by allowing himself to be openly talked about amongst his coworkers as well as over the people that he influences.

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    Marlow's encounter is considered to be the climatic point of his understanding of the nature of man because in person he converses with Kurtz instead of imagining the doubts and expectations rumored about Kurtz. The story is repetitive with the underlying nature with the evil in man by using details from Kurtz's actions from the beginning of the story to the end. The nature of man evolves throughout the story, introducing the virtues of man and how corruption easily triumphs those virtues. The disease of modern, social man in history in the story is also constant throughout the story; from the beginning the doctor introduces the mental health of the modern man followed by the journey to losing his mind to which at the end the modern man loses his mind.

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    Throughout the novella, Marlow has been insistent on meeting Kurtz, due to the encouraging stories that he has heard about him. When this time came, it did not necessarily meet up to all Marlow’s expectations. Kurtz is seen as an influential, powerful, and idolised figure within the African community, with the ability to order the Natives around for his own personal gain. After meeting Kurtz, towards the end of the novella, Marlow’s favourable opinions changed significantly. Marlow realised that Kurtz’ actions in order to obtain ivory was corrupt, whilst not even taking into account the effect that his actions would have on the Natives. This novella shows the disease of modern, social men, and how the darkness of corruption, greediness, and cruelty can affect ones mind and soul.

  12. #12
    I think that for Marlow, meeting Kurtz has led him to see that humans are capable of going to extreme ends for their passions. Kurtz was transformed with the desire of ivory and to help him on his mission he was able to free himself of the constraints of civilization and become one with the natives.
    The story is partially concerned with the evil of man in his essential nature since so many of the civilized people were able to revert themselves to savagery. The white people rather lose themselves to the jungle in this story and it shows that everyone has the capacity of good and evil within them.
    The disease of modern, social man in history is that he attempts to assimilate other people to be like him. People continue to think that their ideas are better than others and are too prejudiced resulting in arguments and even violence as seen in the Middle East today.

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    As Marlow's journey along the river progressed, he was constantly fed information that Kurtz was the greatest man to have ever stepped foot on this planet and that every word that he speaks should be respected and understood completely. However, as Marlow began to get closer and closer to the inner station, he begins to reflect on the situation that Kurtz has been dealt and how Kurtz has managed to be successful in this dangerous part of the world. Marlow eventually comes to the conclusion that Kurtz has fallen victim to the principles of greed and jealousy. Instead of being satisfied with his business, Kurtz felt the obligation to expand at all costs, no matter the possible consequences. Furthermore, when Marlow finally meets Kurtz, Marlow is able to conclude that the corruption that allowed Kurtz to be successful was also the reason why Kurtz lost his mind and began to live like many African villagers. As he observes Kurtz, Marlow understands that when the nature of man focuses on the money aspect of life, greed and jealousy tend to override rational thought. In man's essential nature, Conrad is attempting to say that having the most of something or being the most powerful does not always lead to happiness and success in life. Rather, Conrad believes the men who are able to live as simply and harmoniously are the men who will have success in life. In history, whether it be the Holocaust or the Imperialism of Africa, it is evident that when corrupted, the nature of man turns to evil beliefs and beliefs of supreme power or success.

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    Throughout the story, Marlow idolized Kurtz. He believed he had the “voice” to move others, to change others. He said that “Kurtz was one of the immortals”, almost as if Conrad was trying to make a contrast between Kurtz and Jesus, someone who is immortal and idolized by all. Furthermore, he talked about how Kurtz “did not seem in pain” despite how dead he looked, another example that draws a parallelism between Kurtz and Jesus. When he finally meets Kurtz, he finds out the real nature of men. No matter how powerful Marlow’s “love” for Kurtz was, he could not ignore the Kurtz’ desires for greed, and how greed has turned Kurtz into a “savage” who is “hollow at the core”.

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    During Marlow's journey through the Congo, Marlow heard many stories andgreat things about Kurtz. He slowly becomes somewhat obsessed with Kurtz, and has been really wanting to meet him. He makes meeting with Kurtz the only reason for his travel in the Congo. As soon as he meets Kurtz, he is the exact opposite of what Marlow expected, and this was the culminuating experience for Marlow. He learns that Kurtz is really an ignorant and selfish man with desires to only become rich and powerful. Because of this, it shows that when men have a thirst for wealth and power, it leads them to have a greedy attitude in life.

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