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A Characterization of Marlow and Kurtz The characterization of Marlow and Kurtz begins with the physical appearance and then moves on to the psychological andor emotional makeup of the two characters Marlow is the protagonist of the story who ventures to Africa looking to sail a steamboat but finds much more Kurtz is the unique victim of colonization the wilderness captures him and he turns his back on all customs and people that were a part of him Marlow and Kurtz are two opposite examples of the human condition There are many similarities and many differences between the two of them that will be discussed in this paper I will start with the physical details about Marlow and Kurtz The only physical description of Marlow is this Marlow sat cross-legged right aft leaning against the mizzen-mast He had sunken cheeks a yellow complexion a straight back and ascetic aspect and with his arms dropped the palms of his hands outwards resembled an idolConrad1615 As William Bysshe Stein has pointed out Marlow is here sitting in the so-called lotus posture familiar to us from its representation in the Buddhist art of India and the Orient This posture is the one adopted as a prerequisite to Yoga meditation and it suggests that Marlow is ready to engage in an exercise of intense introspection that will lead to some kind of personal enlightenmentAdams 121 Marlow was a professional seaman and the captain of the Congo Rive Steamboat He seems to possess a good work ethic working hard is a means of achieving sanity Marlow dislikes lies and therefore tells only two of them both in extraordinary circumstances In the middle of the story Marlow interrupts himself to say You know I hate detest and cant bear a lie not because I am straighter than the rest of us but simply because it appalls me There is a taint of death a flavor of mortality in lies- which
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