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Education, English

The Heart of Darkness

“The Horror, the horror” Kurtz last words as he dies after suffering from an illness for a long. He is an agent of a company focused on ivory trade and has lived among the native Africans as a prisoner and like a god to them for many years (Conrad, 1996). Illustratively, it is during his last moment that Kurtz realizes how much life and human beings can be so morally corrupted. He lived a miserable life imprisoned by sickness and the Africans who could not allow him to leave the camp despite being like a god to him. The people around him do not take good care of him considering that is sick and immobile since his legs are disabled. Hence, his last words indicate how he feels about humanity referring to the people who contributed to his horrible life. Furthermore, these words reflect how he has lived his life as an imperialistic, greedy and cruel. The native Africans regard him as a god and have to do anything he requests regardless the consequences involved. For example, when the natives come out to attack the steamship, he orders them to stop and go back to their hiding. Moreover, the manager perceives that Kurtz ordered the attack on Marlow and others earlier before they met him. Therefore, it is likely that he realizes he has been living a life full of people with moral deficiencies including him.

As he dies, Kurtz leaves some essential documents to Marlow and instructs him not to submit them to the company Conrad, 1996). The latter does as directed because he does not give the materials to his superiors of which might jeopardize his job, but he has sworn loyalty to the former. Additionally, when Intended, Kurtz’s fiancée, enquires about his last words, Marlow lies that it was her name because he does not wish to be disloyal. The loyalty can be attributed to the last words of the deceased that makes Marlow sympathize with how Kurtz has been living a horrible life only to realize it in his last moment. Hence, he decides the best he can do is grant suffering, dying man his last will and that is following his directives. Also, the loyalty can be said to be a way of respecting the dead.


Conrad, J. (1996). Heart of darkness. In Heart of darkness(pp. 17-95). Palgrave Macmillan, New York.



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