GradeSaver (tm) ClassicNotes Heart of Darkness: Study Guide

Heart of Darkness Questions

Join the discussion about Heart of Darkness by asking a new question or answering an existing question.

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

 

mark w #231027
Feb 19, 2012 5:10 PM

Report abuse

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

meaning and significance

Answer this question

 

Aslan
Feb 19, 2012 5:12 PM

Report abuse

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.
 

Aslan
Feb 19, 2012 5:12 PM

Report abuse

 

Join for free to answer this question.

Existing Users

New Users

Yes No

Heart of Darkness Essays and Related Content