How Does Mr. Kurtz Symbolize In Heart Of Darkness Imperialism

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Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness is a story filled with overwhelming condemnation of imperialism. This dark allegory describes the journey of the narrator, Marlow, into the dark interior of the African continent and his fascination with the mysterious Mr. Kurtz who dominates the inhabitants of the region. The power Mr. Kurtz holds over the natives enables him the ability to be the best and most economically savvy in the ivory trade. As Marlow moves through the story he becomes aware that the darkness surrounding him is not caused be the native culture or the natives themselves. The darkness lies in the greed-filled heart of the white men that use the guise of a helping hand to capture the life and wealth of the undiscovered continent. …show more content…
When he arrives, Marlow is submerged in the ivory “trade” that was taking place. While at the station base, Marlow meets the accountant, bookkeeper, for the trading post. The incorporation of an unimportant member of the company is telling. The accountant doesn’t do much for the story except for introduce Mr. Kurtz. Any character could have done this, but Conrad included the accountant to show how much importance was placed on the profit margin. The accountant is there to ensure the economic value of the project at all times. It is strange that one leg imperialism tries to stand on is bringing Christianity to the savages, yet there is no mention of a preacher or priest of any kind throughout the novel. There is the accountant though which is what really matters. Marlow spends a lot of time with the accountant learning about Mr. Kurtz, a “first-class agent” that “sends in as much ivory as all the others put together” (Conrad 16). Kurtz is idolized for his economic value. The man is nothing more than a man, but because he is able to bring in profit, Kurtz is considered to be above most men, even the white

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