Heart of Darkness provides us with some very ponderable interesting characters. Two of my favorites : the educated and nomad harlequin surviving in the wild ;an adventurer, a seeker and the second, Mr Kurtz who is larger than life and a Superhuman persona, embodying madness, as is their due. He represents the lofty ideals of the educated invader who has 'ideas' and big ones too! They could not be forsaken and was considered his duty to share with the world. And he was savagery personified. A man who had given up his cultivated persona and had succumbed to sin and ventured into the darkest recesses and ultimately lost his marbles. But he still exercises a control over those that know him, an enigma, the intense magic that gives a sultry call to the journeyman and leads him astray. Marlow becomes his victim. The darkness almost engulfs him, but an act of kindness serves as his salvation.
Marlow’s obsession with finding Kurtz is grounded at least in part by the purity Kurtz represents. The most successful of all the ivory traders in Africa (“Further questions elicited from him that Mr. Kurtz was at present in charge of a trading post, a very important one, in the true ivory-country . . Sends in as much ivory as all the others put together”), Kurtz’s all-consuming drive to produce for the company and his sustained social isolation by virtue of his long tenure deep in the jungle has created around him the aura of invincibility and incorruptibility. Marlow seeks moral integrity. As he notes early in his voyage,