The Horror's Literary Origin! The dread! This is Kurtz's final line in Conrad's novella "Heart of Darkness." "Anything approximating the shift that came over his face I have never seen before, and hope never to see again," Marlowe says of the final words. "They say that his body was found near the riverbank, but no one knew how he had died."
Kurtz was a British colonial official in the Belgian Congo who went insane. He killed many people including women and children, after which he abandoned his post. When he was eventually caught, he was taken away in an ambulance but didn't survive the trip back to civilization.
Although Heart of Darkness is about Kurtz, it is also about the narrator, Marlow. They both go to the Congo to investigate rumors of gold, but what Marlow discovers instead is something much worse than gold. Kurtz's story continues to haunt everyone who hears it, and so does Marlow's.
"The horror! The horror!" say the famous closing lines. (3.43). Marlow explains this for us, arguing that these are the words that Kurtz uses to grasp how corrupt human nature is—that his failure to exercise even a smidgeon of self-control is the same darkness that exists in every human heart.
So we can assume that when Kurtz said "the horror!", he was referring to the corruption of human nature.
Nowadays most people know this story from one of the many film adaptations of it, such as Joseph Conrad's novella or Oliver Stone's movie version. But the original story was written by British author Joseph Conrad, so they're probably not too far off the mark when they say it has a Gothic feel about it.
Gothic literature and art is known for its use of terror and suspense to tell stories, and this genre often includes scenes of violence and madness. So it isn't surprising that some have compared Kurtz's story to a Gothic novel, especially since it was first published in 1899.
Kurtz's last words, "The horror! The horror!" might be taken in a number of ways. More than likely, these words represent Kurtz's inability to achieve his many lofty aims and fulfill his destiny, and he can't help but speak them in despair as the emptiness of his own existence surrounds him.
Also, it could be inferred that Kurtz was a horror story writer who used horror elements in his work to elicit a response from his audience. In fact, there are several similarities between the plot of A Tale of Two Cities and that of Kurtz's tale. Both stories involve two opposing characters who are brought together by fate, and both stories end with a death. However, while Charles Dickens' novel was an adventure story, Joseph Conrad's was considered to be a horror story because it involved murder, violence, and other unpleasant things.
In conclusion, the phrase "the horror!" means horror itself.
"The horror!" Kurtz said as he died. For his side, Marlow perceives the exclamation as Kurtz's reaction to his approaching death. It is a significant statement and one that has often been cited by commentators since its first appearance in Joseph Conrad's novella The Heart of Darkness.
Kurtz's last words have also been used by some commentators as a justification for his actions during his tenure as chief inspector for the Belgian Congo. The phrase was originally written by American author John Dos Passos in his novel One Man's Life:
"The horror! The horror!" cried Mr. Kurtz when he died.
Some critics have interpreted this passage as emblematic of the excesses committed by European colonists in Africa. Others see in it a comment on the horrors of industrial civilization itself.
Yet others see in it merely an expression of regret by someone who has realized that he is about to die. This interpretation was proposed by several authors including Graham Greene and Peter Straub. They noted that Kurtz uses the same word that Marlow had previously heard him use when he described his latest expedition. This indicates to them that Kurtz is expressing amazement at something rather than horror at his own fate.
By T.S. Mistah Kurtz—he is no longer alive. The first epigraph is a passage from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness from a servant. The servant informs Marlow that another character called Kurtz has recently died. He goes on to say that there are some who have gone mad in this place and many more who will soon follow.
Kurtz was a character in the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. He is a Belgian-American trader living in the Congo at the start of the 20th century. His story is told through a series of letters he writes to his daughter. The novel is about humanity's tendency for evilness and how one man's desire for power can corrupt even the most good-nat'thoughts.
Conrad based Kurtz on the real-life Belgian colonialist and hunter Henry Stanley. In 1876, while searching for the explorer David Livingstone, Stanley met with an Indian chief in Africa who had information about a white man named Kurtz. The Indian said that he had seen this man use guns to kill other Indians. Believing him to be a dangerous rogue, Stanley shot him in the head during their interview.
In the novel, Kurtz's wife and daughter are killed by a group of armed men under his command.
Kurtz is a key fictional character in Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness, published in 1899. He monopolizes his position as a deity among native Africans as an ivory merchant and commander of a trading post in Africa. When his business fails, he goes into debt to various members of a syndicate based in London, who then pursue him for payment. In response, he leads an expedition into the interior of Africa, where he hopes to find enough ivory to pay off his debts.
Conrad wrote the novel while living in London. It is set in the Congo Basin during the late 1890s, but many aspects of its characterization and atmosphere seem very contemporary. It can be considered one of the first modern novels, since it focuses on the effects of capitalism and colonialism rather than on adventure or romance.
In the novel, Kurtz is a man without moral principles who has become an object of worship by the natives around him. They call him "the holy terror". When he dies, they lament his passing and bury him with great pomp. Although he was not religious, Kurtz is said to have been fond of quoting lines from Shakespeare and Milton at important moments in the story.
Heart of Darkness has had a huge influence on writers throughout the world. It is considered a seminal work of modernism, because of its use of objective narration to describe a psychological crisis.