Kurtz Essay, Research Paper

I had read this story once before when I was a freshman at a branch campus

of Penn State called Behrend. I read it for a literature class dealing with short

stories and their analyzation. I didn?t really like the story back then, and it

really hasn?t moved-up any spots on my list of favorites. Although I really

didn?t care for the story, I did notice quite a bit of symbolism throughout the

book. Conrad seemed to use black and white as his main source of color

symbolism. Just as in the old westerns, white is good and black is bad. One

instance in which you could see this is the many times that Conrad speaks of

the white souls of the black people and the black souls of the white people

that exploit them. The old ladies in the Belgian office sat there and knitted

black wool, symbolizing the dark fate and tragedy that were to follow. You

can find many, many other examples of the usage of black and white to

symbolize feelings and emotions, as well as a few other colors. There are also

some objects that Conrad uses to create a symbolism. Take, for example, the

stick of wax that the manager breaks while he is talking about Kurtz. I don?t

know, but if you ask me the manager wishes that the wax actually was Kurtz.

I think that the oil painting that was done by Kurtz shows that he was

completely aware of what was going on and what he was getting himself into.

I also noticed that grass was mentioned a lot in the story. I remember from

my class at Behrend that the professor mentioned that Conrad liked to

include a lot of references to Biblical scripture in his works. I can?t remember

what it was supposed to mean, but I think that the grass has something to do

with the Bible. Well, even though this wasn?t the greatest book that I have

ever read, there were a lot of interesting things that it gave me to think about.

The question was posed in class on Tuesday…What kind of leader would

you be if you could make all of the rules?? You know, the longer that I sit

here and think about that question the more that I think I would be horrible.

To have the power to make all of the rules that you want…to do

ANYTHING that you wanted to do, whenever, wherever and to whomever

you wanted is just so unbelievably huge. Absolute control. I think that I

would probably go around making up all kinds of laws that I always thought

made sense. The kinds of laws that other people thought were pretty stupid.

I?m pretty sure that I would end up having some people executed (i.e.-ALL

of the people that are on death row spending up all of our tax dollars to keep

their asses alive). I can only think of a couple of people that would pay dearly

due to the fact that my laws would apply to ?crimes? that took place as far

back as I saw fit. This would only include a couple of people that I have been

acquainted with in the past. Obviously, complete power is a very scary thing.

I think that, given the opportunity, a large portion of the citizens of the world

would abuse the power given to them. I think that people would just get so

caught up in the immenseness of their power, they would just end up losing

control and doing things that they normally wouldn?t even think of doing.

Deep down, we?re all capable of some pretty evil things.

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