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The Horror Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is a novel where the main character Marlow is telling a story of a trip to the Congo This novel is said to possibly be an autobiography of Conrads life at sea This is said because Conrad was a seaman for a many years and went into Africa many times The story is so powerful that even after 100 years we still struggle with its meaning This story has been retold by Francis Ford Coppola in the film Apocalypse Now Chinua Achebe has recently explored Conrads ideas on imperialism Achebe believed Conrads book presented a racist view of the people of Africa and Achebe in his own book Things Fall Apart presented imperialism through the eyes of the Africans The story of Heart of Darkness is being told to four men on the deck of the Nellie The story being told is about one of Marlows expeditions to the Congo in search of an Ivory hunter named Kurtz When Marlow found Kurtz in the Congo Kurtz had gone native Marlow found a head that seemed to sleep at the top of that pole outside of Kurtzs house and Kurtz had been hunting with tribes in the area Conrad 73 When Marlow arrived Kurtz was ill and dying Kurtz cried out the words The horror The horror right before he died Conrad 85 These words cried out by Kurtz as he died created the most important passages in Heart of Darkness The way this one passage is interpreted determines how the book is interpreted One interpretation is that the horror is death and Kurtz is realizing he is dying Kurtz is horrified at the thought of dying and is crying out in pain of the realization Kurtz may be afraid to die in the heart of darkness Kurtz may be afraid to die knowing that he will never see his intended again and he may feel guilty
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