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Darkness And Human Nature: The Analysis Of Faust And Mr.Kurtz

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When the word darkness is heard, it is usually related with the unknown. Whether it is a time or place, the unknown is usually feared, this insightful meaning is analyzed in both Faust and the heart of darkness. Faust and Mr. Kurtz are both merely figures that are used to experience new places and the interactions with new societies; both characters set out to these unknown places with an aim in mind, their individuality is altered severely and their personality and morals change to different extents. The society around us has the power to tempt individuals; Faust and Mr. Kurtz set out on paths seek a certain desire, but these temptations stand like trees in their paths and seem to find no way to go around them.

Faust’s one desire was to seek out to gain more knowledge out of life, and so he makes a pact with the devil or the “baron”,mestopheles and faust sets out from the long years in his study with mestopheles to seek and fulfill this desire in the outside world, by simply interacting with the everyday life. Faust shows no weakness towards the lustful drinking party in auerbachs cellar, on the contrary he openly says that he is “inclined to leave immediately.” (line: 2295) Here he holds on to his individuality which he had shown a clear part of it before entering the cellar when he said “I never was at ease with other people, they make me feel so small and continually embarrassed.” (lines: 2058-2060) the people around the individuals have the ability to make someone feel “small” or less fortunate than other; some individuals are effected and some or not. Those who are effected undergo what is called secondary socialization, where their personality is influenced and is changed and reformed according to these people. In fausts case; he shows no sign of weakness and does not try to fit in and so he clearly shows that he isn’t enjoying himself like the other men and so he wants to leave. This did not effect his personality but another temptation did, and that was the temptation of lust or love. His strong powerful personality seems to change in the blink of an eye when he looks into the mirror in the witch’s kitchen and sees the image of the lady; he seems to forget everything especially his aim to seek knowledge and his new aim becomes this woman and all he wants is to get to her. “O love,” he says “lend me the swiftest of your wings, and lead me to her bright regions.” (lines:2431-2432) Although Faust does seem to get sidetracked out of his path but it is not as severe as Mr.kurtz in heart of darkness.

In the novel, heart of darkness, Africa or the congo is refered to the dark side of the world; which makes perfect sense in comparision to faust. to the English at the time, traveling to the heart of Africa was like faust leaving his study to the outside world, it seemed so far away and gloomy. Both are dark places and both are unknown and had a major effect on both faust and Kurtz. Since the concept of a place “is a site of meaningful action for individuals” , therefore if the place is unknown it will have negative effects on the individual entering this new place. Although mestopheles does not have a hand to suduce mr Kurtz, but the gloom and characteristics of Africa make It almost diabolical. Mr.kurtz’s main aim is to gain wealth so as he will be able to get married to the intended in England and so he travels to congo as a first class agent to fulfill this desire. His supposedly belief that the Africans should be civilized and humanized is severely contradicting by his postscript, “Exterminate all the brutes! this insanity maybe because of a culture shock and so mr.kurtz is in a way pitied but his “insanity” goes deeper and he holds on to European imperialistic ideals too strongly, and he believes that the Europeans are the light for the darkness in Africa. Kurtz eloquence is used as an as excuse for his immoral acts , when marlow was looking through his binoculars Marlow he sees severed heads on top of the fence posts and are turned to face the station house. And the Russian trader explains that this are the heads of rebels, marlow laughs at this, because this insanity cannot be excused any excuse except the fact that mr.kurtz left himself be sucked into africa’s fog, he wraped himself too much with congo that he like faust forgot why he was there to begin with. His power and eloquence only increanced and his nature become possessive, he claimed that the ivory was his and refered to almost everything as his. Kurtz shows complete abandonment of any European morals or norms, his imperialistic personality to civilize contradicts his inhuman personality.Although Kurtz acts very uncivilized including threatening to shoot the trader over a stash of ivory, the rusian trader beleives that Kurtz cannot be compared to a normal man. Furthermore he has tried to persuade Kurtz to return to civilization.on the other hand, Faust may be also considered uncivilized since he hasn’t interacted with civilization for so long.

Heart of darkness has an “ambigious metaphor,describing Belgian colonialism in the heart



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