Heart of Darkness

by: Joseph Conrad

Five Key Questions

Summary Five Key Questions

2) Why does Kurtz go crazy?

Marlow suggests that the loneliness and unfamiliarity of the African environment induces Kurtz’s madness, and that his mind weakens the deeper he travels into the “heart of darkness.” As Marlow describes it: “Being alone in the wilderness...[his soul] had gone mad.” Another possibility for Kurtz’s madness is that Kurtz’s greed drives him crazy. After Kurtz discovers the influence he has over the indigenous people, his insatiable lust for power takes him over the edge. In the Congolese jungle, Kurtz is not held accountable to anyone, and this sort of unrestrained power is more than one man can bear.