The Failure of Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

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In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Kurtz fails for many reasons and in many ways. Kurtz's failure is especially tragic because he once had the potential for great success. He was an eloquent, powerful, and persuasive speaker who at one point was adored by all the inhabitants of the heart of darkness, the great and mysterious jungle. Everyone from the innocent natives to the administration of his corrupt company was in awe of him. Why …

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…and most importantly, he never made it back to Europe to claim his intended. We see the way Kurtz views his time in the jungle in his tragic last words, "the horror, the horror." Kurtz knew what he was, and was hurt when he thought of what he could have been. The jungle had robbed him of his dignity, he had become a savage and he died being fully aware of what he had become.