During some of the most profound pages (69-75) of the story, Marlow wonders, "what he (Kurtz) belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own." And even though Marlow says it is dangerous to think about whom Kurtz answers to, maybe we should take that risk. In gaining his immense power, Kurtz must have done at least a few horrible things; and to keep this power, he most likely committed even more atrocities. The ivory white of his skull seems impure, like a deceitful grin. Kurtz's power restrains him. It gives him liberty due to wealth but he is held back. His god-like powers anchor him down in the wild.
Conrad seems to comment on power throughout both "Heart of Darkness" and "The Secret Sharer" with Kurtz as well as Marlow and the captain. Conrad's short stories share insight on the acquisition of power and its effects on different types of people. I still do not have a well-developed idea on this topic, however I am confident that it is a pillar on which these stories were constructed around. I am interested to hear others' opinions on this topic. What determines the effects of power in different characters?
I thought I could share the link for the music I listened to while writing this. He was an inspiration for Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Frank Zappa. Johnny "Guitar" Watson