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Illusions of the Mind

             "People only see what they are prepared to see.
             In the novel, Heart of Darkness, the Europeans witness a life unlike any they have ever seen. They must face a harsh reality, which challenges their restraints on society and work. They are put to the test with their values and morals, revealing the truth to one another. Unleashing savagery or remaining civilized. Throughout Marlow's journey up the Congo into Africa, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with European values and beliefs, thus, leaving Marlow to resist the tempting truth of our savage side or having succumbed to darkness.
             Without a protective civilized society, Kurtz represents what every man will become if left to his own desires. Every man has a heart of darkness that is usually drowned out by the light of civilization. However, when a man is removed from a civilized environment without any rules or laws to abide by, his instinct of savagery is unleashed. Darkness is related to savagery and Marlow represents the civilized soul, which has not been drawn by a dark force. Marlow is seen as the light in this darkness.
             There are three stations that Marlow must pass through on his journey to Kurtz: the outer station, the central station, and the inner station. These stations represent symbolic stages in Marlow's journey of self-discovery. As Marlow travels up river, he first arrives at the outer station. Here he witnesses his first account of the jungle. He sees how the Natives are treated, he views the Europeans acts of futility, and this is just a glimpse of things he has to face in his future travels. Once Marlow reaches the central station he discovers Kurtz may not be the man he once thought. He first hears of Kurtz as being a wonderful man with power but Marlow is beginning to see into his mind. Marlow struggles within himself to see if he is like this man. Throughout his journey up the Congo, Marlow sees much more truth, learning more about Kurtz as he goes along.

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