I love how Joseph Conrad gives us little hints – bits and pieces scattered through the pages about this man, Mr. Kurtz. Every tidbit builds a slightly bigger picture, but yet, the whole is shrouded in darkness until the very end when the awful revealing takes place.
Early on we learn that Mr. Kurtz:
1. sends in more ivory from his post than all the rest put together.
2. is a prodigy.
3. is an “emissary of pity, science and progress.” (Emissary of pity? Not even sure what that is supposed to mean!)
4. had at one point left his station for headquarters, but then returned, for no apparent reason.
5. wrote a manifesto on how to deal with the savages per the request of the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs, in which he concluded “Exterminate all the brutes!”
6. might have some mental issues. (“…before his nerves went wrong.”)
I’ll just quote from Alice in Wonderland here: “Curiouser and curiouser!” Are you being drawn in to the river journey like I was? I just couldn’t stop reading in order to find out what happened!