By this point, Marlow is negative about the whole business operation. To him, it represents inefficiency, greed, and exploitation. Then he notices a small oil sketch which the agent tells him was painted by Kurtz. Critics suggest that this painting symbolizes Kurtz’s felling about the company’s work in Africa. Find this description and state what you think the sketch could possibly symbolize.
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The portrait of the blind woman holding a torch, in the first agent's room, suggests the failing of Kurtz: perhaps he has blindly traveled into a situation and has become absorbed in it, much as the woman is absorbed into the darkness of the painting (despite the torch, she is painted in insufficient light). This preemptive warning is useful to keep in mind as we consider subsequent chapters.