Character Analysis of Mr. Kurtz | Heart of Darkness

Character Analysis of Mr. Kurtz

Mr. Kurtz is one of the most enigmatic characters in 2oth century literature.  He is an embodiment of European imperialistic approach and also an assault on European values. His contradictory personality fascinates Marlow and creates a pulse of curiosity in the mind of Marlow.

Like Marlow, Kurtz was also fond of adventures and in this quest he travelled towards Africa to meet objectives of so called European imperialism as explained in initial report of the company; to complete great acts of “humanizing, improving, instructing”.

Until he did not taste power of jungle, he was a true philanthropic but when tasted power, Kurtz abandoned his philanthropic ideals and set himself up as a god to the natives at the Inner Station.

Initially he used to worry about the African savages and his interests were to bring the “light” of civilization to the savages of Congo but the results turned opposite. He dies as a man believing that the Company should simply “Exterminate all the brutes!”

Kurtz turned into a very dangerous man because knowing the objectives of the company in the Congo; he gives only lie to the Company’s “humanistic” intentions.

He collects ivory more than all the other stations put together, and to achieve his target he uses all his forceful means. This frightens men like the Manager, who complains of Kurtz’s “unsound method”—although Kurtz is only doing what the whole company is doing without hiding his actions behind a façade of good intentions.

Marlow states exactly true about Kurtz and imperialistic approach of Europe that “All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz,” and Kurtz’s and Europeans’ greed of power involved in imperialistic empire-building prove this to be true.

Kurtz is not interested that what people say about him or how he is perceived by “noxious fools”.  Kurtz is completely open about his lusts and he tells the Manager that he is “Not so sick as you’d like to believe.” This statement of Kurtz is applicable to all Europeans involved in imperialistic empire-building.