Heart Of Darkness

Marlow’s Identification with Kurtz and his Illness

In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Kurtz’s character has a very strong influence on the story. He is not the protagonist, however. This man is Marlow. Now, the dynamic between Marlow and Kurtz is a very important relationship. Kurtz was insane, however, Marlow still was strangely attracted to him and all surrounding him. Throughout the story, Marlow could identify with Kurtz and his illness; they were two very alike people, even if on opposite ends of the spectrum. How do you thinkĀ country life is better than city life?

From the beginning, Kurtz is Marlow’s ‘choice of nightmares’. As soon as his name is mentioned, Marlow is bent on finding this man. Idealistic thoughts frolic in the seaman’s head as he gladly takes the position of captain down the river. No one else seems as enthusiastic, however, which is the first clue that Marlow and Kurtz share something special. The manager, in fact, wants nothing more than to eliminate Kurtz altogether. ‘We will not be free from unfair competition until one of these fellows is hanged as an example’ (76). In this same scene, a bit more is learned concerning Kurtz’s

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