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02/17/2011

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I was confused by "the horror, the horror" too but now that i think about it it makes more sense. His words are kind of melodramatic but I guess it is an accurate representation of what he did with his life.

If you read more closely at the bottom of page 105, Marlow says that what amazed him was that kurtz "had pronounced judgment upon the adventures of his soul on earth." On the next page, he praises Kurtz for having something to say at the end of his life, something to sum up and judge. Kurtz's last words not only represent what he did with his life, but that some part of him recognizes and regrets those horrors. Kurtz accepts responsibility for his actions, unlike everyone else in the book, and that almost makes me respect him as a character.

Adding to the previous, Kurtz's final words may also signify not only his regret for what he'd done in his life, but the horror of life or the world, itself. The savagery and greed of the world is cloaked in imperialism. Kurtz's realization of the ultimate truth combined with the regret of his insanity is terrifying...obviously. In the simplest terms to sum it up, Conrad is saying life sucks and then you die.

Isn't it that Kurtz, as the perpetrator in the indirect tale not only knows about the horror but is also the only one speaking openly of it? I remember reading somewhere that Conrad didn't see the universe as a moral entity but more as a knitting machine of some kind...

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