In looking at Kurtz as a character after his death, his character is made complex by the contradictions of his personality, life choices, and beliefs.  While Kurtz began as a man who believes in the humane treatment of the African natives, his life ends with the his ruthless pursuit of ivory.  Kurtz’ pursuit of wealth has led him to savagely murder innocent natives in order to steal what he wants.  Furthermore, his powerful presence and voice contrast with his sickly and struggling physical appearance.  More contrasts arise as Kurtz is facing death; he is determined to fulfill his dreams, amass wealth, and find more ivory, yet he is inching closer to death.  The idea of Kurtz is rendered more complex by the contrasts between others’ views of Kurtz and the sobering character Marlow faced.  To his fiancee, cousin, and the journalist, Kurtz was a fantastic musician, writer, and leader.  To Marlow, Kurtz embodied the ruthless selfish pursuit of wealth of imperialist endeavors in the Congo.

-Melvyna-

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