Heart of Darkness

"The horror! The horror!” explain the last Kurtz's words in Heart of Darkness

meaning and significance

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Interpreting the meaning of "The Horror" has been a question asked since the initial publication of the novella. Even Conrad himself was reluctant to define it too explicitly. In general terms, the horror is all that Kurtz has witnessed: the exploitation of Africa, the evil within the heart of humans, his own crumbling sanity, the illusion of hope and understanding, etc.

In many ways, Marlow's lie to Kurtz's Intended at the end of the novella is Marlow rejection of complete acceptance of Kurtz's worldview. Marlow refuses to believe that things are as bad as Kurtz believes them to be and his lie is a way to suppress those beliefs. His lie also protects Kurtz's fiance from knowing of the evil and terror that possessed him in his final days.

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