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Greed is clearly discussed under the theme; restraint in the novel. This theme brings out the mentality of the European as a civilized man. Kurtz fails to suppress his actions which are clear reflection of one’s control of mind. The European seemingly looses his desired restraint in pursuit of ivory. The greed of the Europeans in finding ivory negatively affects the lives of the native Congo as well as the entire region as far as natural resources are concerned. The natives of Congo greatly believed the white man because they thought that he had a clean heart and a good intention of helping them out of their predicament. During Marlow’s adventure the only distinct thing he discovered was the respect and restraint of the native Congolese. He comes to this conclusion by finding out that his fellow whites have no respect for the locals because they take whatever is important to them with no respect.
This finding makes Marlow regret being among the so called civilized because of their constraint less society. Through this novel people are able to analyze the rationality of civilization as portrayed by white Europeans. The main objective for the imperialist monarchs who were sent to Congo was to transform the native Congolese. Lack of constraint in the Europeans made the world to be a terrible and demanding place for the natives. Lack of constraints made the white man to exploit the ivory of the natives which would have greatly helped them to better their lives. The damage that was done by the white man on the natives was immeasurable and unspeakable. The acts of corruption and greed which characterized the behavior of Kurtz drained the resources of the Congolese (Seaghdha 85).
Marlow makes a comparison which is an important reflection of the happenings in Africa Congo. He relates the image of the Europeans in the midst of the ancient Roman officials which to him is similar to the image of the Congolese among the British officials. The experience of Marlow and his crews as they come to meet Kurtz clearly reflects what the natives have transformed into under the influence of his fellow colleague. Marlow and his folks are attacked by the natives using their arrow arms resulting to the death of one person. The status of Kurtz as a god among the native Congolese and his brutal raids in search of ivory is a good reflection of greed. The stay of Kurtz and Marlow opens a chance for him to find out that the description which he was given of him is actually correct.
Civilization is viewed at two different dimensions in the novel for instance the dark and light side of civilization. Themes like obscurity clearly demonstrate the dark side of civilization. The nature of the work being done in the novel further reflects the bad effects of colonization. For instance Africa has for long been considered as a dark continent by many European countries. The Victorian era indicates all the negative connotations which were made in reference to the Africans. Many analysts indicate that Kurtz behavior must have been greatly influenced by Stanley Morton who was well known for his uncouth action among the Congolese who served for him as porters. Most of the people who closely associated with Kurtz had bad reputation among the locals. For instance Marlow encountered Leon Rom who presumably decorated his bed with the skulls of his victims which comprised women and children. These victims were a clear representative of Kurtz station post and they were about twenty one people (Leonard 73).
The heart of darkness put a great emphasis on mankind darkness as a theme. The scene where the narration of the story takes place clearly indicates the intensity of darkness which is a reflection of mankind status. The character of Kurtz is a clear representation of the hidden lurking darkness among those who are considered by others as civilized. Kurtz demonstrated this character among the Africans and in particular the Congolese whom he was working with. Kurtz character is the one which goes an extra mile to reflect inhumanity. The faculties which he employs are the exact opposite of the ideal self constructing report which he makes about himself as a civilizer. Marlow looks at him as a foreign immensity which is guided by august benevolence this; character attracts all forms of resentment. Kurtz expresses his benevolence through the statement which he makes about whites behaving in a manner that reflects superiority over the blacks.
Personal will has the capabilities of exerting some form of power and for these reason if the power is applied with a good objective it’s not able to bind people. In the novel the central station manager orders that each station should be a reflection of beacon which is on its way to better things. Therefore every station should be a centre for humanizing, trade, instructing as well as improving. There is much abuse and mistreat of the natives by the whites. The heart of darkness uses light and dark to symbolize good and evil of humanity. At the time when Conrad wrote his novel many European countries were out to colonize Africans and most of them had the desire to acquire the large pieces of land as well as other natural resources that were freely available in Africa (Barkan 188).