Once you get to the end of Heart of Darkness, you might find yourself wondering what’s so great about it? What makes it a classic? What makes it memorable and worth reading? You might wonder: what was Joseph Conrad trying to say? What’s the horror?
Many critics have raised questions about the interpretation of the phrase ” The horror! the horror!”. Generally, it implies the horror Kurtz witnesses in Africa, though the horror could be the exploitation of Africa, evil practices of humans, his crumbling sanity, or an illusion of understanding and hope. Simply, it conveys what the West did during colonization in the name of progress, and under the guise of civilizing the natives. Darkness prevails when he dies, symbolizing that his actions were evil. Thus, it is Kurtz’s realization of the bitter and absolute truth of his life.
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