Every one of us has been afraid of it at a point in our lives. After checking underneath our beds, our parents leave us in our bedrooms at night to face one of our greatest fears. This fear leaves us feeling doomed, helpless, and surrounded with no escape. We curl our toes up under the blankets so that the monsters of this darkness don’t pull us under the bed. Yet, this darkness that we are afraid of is nothing compared to the darkness of the world. A critic stated that Conrad is trying to point out, “In other words: The darkness, the demoniac and scaring character of the world is present everywhere, it is not only a quality of the wild African jungle in the 19th century” (Thorm). Sadly this has always been a reality. There is darkness in every one of us just waiting to be unleashed from the bounds of law and the standards of society. Whose values will stay intact when nobody is watching or when people simply quit caring?
For instance, in today’s world more and more countries like Iran and North Korea are exercising their sovereignty to create nuclear bombs which could endanger not only themselves but the world. They once cared for their reputation and allies. Now reputation is a thing of the past. They do not care for the standards of society. They are simply looking at what will benefit them the most today and in the future. They have stepped over the invisible barriers that have been set as a worldly standard and thrown themselves into the darkness above the world’s control.
Kurtz is the same way. He was once a good man with good ambitions. He was in love and only wanted to please his in-laws with riches so that he could marry his intended. Then it happened. He let his inner darkness come forth and take over his thoughts, actions, and plans. He began giving up on the very goals that originally brought him to this place. To Kurtz everything simply became his, “My intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my---, everything belonged to him” (Conrad 126). Kurtz had long ago found his riches, but what he had was never enough, “We filled the steam boat with it, and had to pile a lot on the deck” (126). He did not care for his reputation in Africa anymore. He only cared about what would benefit himself during that exact moment.
Kurtz kept digging his hole deeper and deeper with every second he spent in that forest. Ivory was the goal and riches was the dream. His restrains ceased to exist. He would do anything to get the ivory even if it meant killing another human being. “Got a tribe to follow him…They adored him...he came to them with thunder and lightning, you know--and they had never seen anything like it--and very terrible” (135). Kurtz took advantage of the native’s adoration for him. He even used them to steal...