p.p1 highlight how discoveries may occur due to

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Equivalently in the Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad uses the complex characterisation of Kurtz and Marlowe, as a vehicle to highlight how discoveries may occur due to a change in circumstances and can lead to a change in values, ideas and understanding of our world. Marlow initially approaches the opportunity with a pessimistic view of civilisation, yet a hope is retained once he establishes a belief that Kurtz shares his moral values about colonialism and the ethical treatment of others which is evident through the dialogue “Each station should be like a beacon on the road towards better things, a centre for trade of course, but also for humanising, improving, instructing”. However, this is initially challenged upon his first encounter with the natives, who he describes “They were nothing earthly now, nothing black shadows of disease.” The connotations of ‘black’, accompanied by the repetition of ‘nothing’, emphasise Marlowe’s horror upon being confronted with the epiphany that the heart of colonialism is not fuelled by the idea of civilisation, but rather then stemming from human greed, making it an authentic discovery. This is further reflected in Kurtz revelations prior to his death, as his discovery of his inhumane treatment of the natives results in great inner turmoil. His struggle is represented when he cries “Oh, but i will wring your heart yet!” at the “invisible wilderness”. The personification of the wild jungle illustrates Kurtz’s delusional struggle between succumbing to the innate desire to pursue power or to continue to retain his views and ideas of colonisation. Thus, it is evident that “Heart of Darkness” illustrates the notion that the discoveries made from exposure to different environments can potentially shape ones values and change their ideas and understanding of the world. 

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