The literary masterpiece, The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, is a tale of one man’s treacherous journey through the heart of Africa, while toting ivory for a Belgium company. The main character, Charlie Marlow, is faced with death, evil, and greed, as he makes his way from station to station collecting ivory. As Marlow progresses down the Congo River, he sees the evil in all men at its darkest. This observation made by Marlow helps develop the theme in Conrad’s classic novella; that darkness is present in all men and that even the brightest of lights can be consumed by the dark, when greed and desire are present in one’s heart. This theme is all too present in the character of Kurtz. Kurtz, the chief of the inner station, was idolized by his peers, highly favored by his employer, and had a bright future ahead of him. Once in Africa, Kurtz began to change. He allowed the man people once admired, to be devoured by greed and the lust for ivory. At the end of the novel, Kurtz realizes his costly mistakes and dies with a load of inextinguishable regrets. Kurtz’s journey from good to evil makes him the epitome of how darkness can escalate and destroy even the best of men.
Kurtz began his transition from light to dark being praised by everyone. He was the type of person people love to believe in. He “was the best agent [and] an exceptional man, of the greatest importance to the company” (Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Bantum Bell, 2004. 21). Kurtz was a very successful ivory collector, and the station he was in charge of, sent in “as much ivory as all the others put together” (27). Many people believed that Kurtz was a prodigy. They saw Kurtz as “an emissary of pity, science, and progress” (37). Even people who had never seen Kurtz in their life were “curious to see whether this man, who had come out equipped with moral ideas of some sort, would climb to the top after all and how he would set about his...