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Dennis 1 Robyn Dennis 02503 Mr Jones Period 1 The Elusive Kurtz Throughout the greater part of Joseph Conrads novelette Heart of Darkness the protagonist and narrator Marlow is unwittingly and markedly affected by an elusive and highly venerated character known only as Kurtz His journey via steamship into the heart of the African Congo creates within him an entirely altered view of the twisted and despairing colonization and modernization sweeping through villages and decimating the native people Yet nothing was more surprising or foreign to Marlow than the impalpable existence of one mana very remarkable person29 who so influenced the entire scope of foreign pilgrims and settlers that the mere mention of his name elicited feelings of respect and approbation Thus though Kurtz is only tangibly present for a small section of the book his influence affects each essential character and ultimately functions as the incarnate heart of darkness to each though only few acknowledge this truth The allure of Kurtz is evident from the beginning of Marlows story Managers and agents within The Company speak openly of him as the best agent andan exceptional man36 a prodigy an emissary of pity and science and progress and devil knows what else41 Kurtzs prowess as an agent and collector of ivory as well as his seeming mastery of the native peoples produces among the Europeans a sordid longing to achieve his stature and to morally justify their presence on the Dark Continent even though he was entirely capable of filling the small souls of the pilgrims with bitter misgivings85 Delusional Europeans clung to the hope that Kurtzs initial ideals- that each station should be like a beacon on the road to Dennis 2 better things a centre for trade of course but also for humanizing improving instructing54 coupled with his success in acquiring ivory would validate their cause When they discover however that his actions are contradictory to his principles and more importantly
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