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In Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness Kurtz fails for many reasons and in many ways Kurtzs failure is especially tragic because he once had the potential for great success He was an eloquent powerful and persuasive speaker who at one point was adored by all the inhabitants of the heart of darkness the great and mysterious jungle Everyone from the innocent natives to the administration of his corrupt company was in awe of him Why then did someone with such amazing promise fail From the beginning Kurtz was made out to be an icon an idol and a deity To Marlow he was the only thing that made sense in the company on a journey in a wilderness wrought with confusion The company hailed him as their biggest asset and success He delivered massive amounts of ivory to them and they liked that very much Kurtz represented many things to many people He was a representation of the wilderness the voice a superior God-like being an imperialist who was a symbol of colonization and a symbol of the jungle I considered him a symbol of power vain dehumanized inhumane a rule-breaker who had to face his consequences and a once-great man who was trapped somewhere in the layers of the Heart of Darkness Late in the book several characters mention all the things that Kurtz could have been his great potential Kurtzs cousin came to Marlow wishing to know about Kurtzs last moments He told Marlow that Kurtz had once been a great musician Later a journalist told him that Kurtz had the potential to be an excellent politician It was also said that he would have been a splendid lawyer No one could deny that whatever he was and whatever he did as his cousin said Kurtz was a universal genius Perhaps it was his extreme promises that lead to his failure The higher the height you fall from the greater the fall He
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