Sample Essay

In the protagonists own words “A beardless, boyish face, very fair, no features to speak of, nose peeling, little blue eyes, smiles and frowns chasing each other over that open countenance like sunshine and shadow on a wind-swept plain.” (Conrad, Chapter 2, p.27) The description as well, as well as the characters outlook and style of dress seems to provide a stark contrast when compared against the other characters motivations and points of view, as well as the environment itself. While the environment seems to have a damp, dark and ominous tone with characters that seem to have lost their will to live and believe that Kurtz is an individual who is more trouble than he is worth. The Harlequin seems to thrive in this environment and likens Kurtz to a God among men.

This is also reflected in Marlow’s evaluation of the character when he considers him an untainted treasure trove of excitement and adventure. He seems to both envy this character and also want to be him as he seems to have so easily attained all the qualities the protagonist is earnestly searching for.

Taking into account that the inherently weird occurrence of this character may simply be a hallucination on the protagonists part it seems only fitting that we consider that this is the character making both physical and mental attempts to protect himself from the wild and primitive allure of his surroundings. Providing information regarding Kurtz, his methods and his actions in turn may simply be an extension of this delusion. For example, it is possible that Marlow considered that Kurtz was behind the attack given his inherently unstable words at the end of his article to the company.

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