The nature of good and evil one of humanities never ending conflicts since the beginning of time. For instance in the novella “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad explores the issues surrounding imperialism, and centers Marlow the main character.
The conflict between good and evil is particularly evident throughout the story. In following the novella you begin analyzing and thinking theories for instance: “people are inherently evil and it’s expressed in varieties of forms”, or “people are inherently good, but become corrupted by society and other outside forces”. In my perspective I’m in position of “people are inherently good, but become corrupted by society and other outside forces”
I do believe they’re people who are inherently good but influenced negatively by society and endure on evil. I stand on this position because in “Heart of Darkness” Marlow expresses “The word ivory’ rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it.
A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse. By Jove! I’ve never seen anything so unreal in my life. And outside, the silent wilderness surrounding this cleared speck on the earth struck me as something great and invincible, like evil or truth, waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion.” (Conrad 368)
This quote Marlow clarifies that he’s in this situation because of the white man’s pursuit for ivory which caused death and greed; in which it proves the point of good people influenced by evil forces. Another example of this is in Part III in “Heart of Darkness” when Marlow and Kurtz finally meet each other through the steamship’s departure from the Inner Station.
Here Marlow describes his developing relationship with Kurtz in terms of intimacy and betrayal. Marlow also indicates that the Africa natives are responsible for Kurtz’s current condition of evilness and cruelty. Finally in the end after Kurtz dies his last words were “the horror, the horror” I believe Kurtz is referring to the darkness in his heart or emptiness, also being a failure of his destiny.
Chinua Achebe feels differently about the novella “Heart of Darkness” mainly because its concept of evil. She expresses that “The Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as “the other world,” the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where a man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality” in other words evil.
Achebe also disliked the fact how the African natives were perceived as ignorant and simply just faded into the background. Achebe concluded by stating “realized that no easy optimism was possible. And there is something totally wrong in offering bribes to the West in return for its good opinion of Africa.”
In conclusion Africa was where colonist evil dwelled in “Heart of Darkness”. Evil in which takes the form of imperialism, hypocrisy, ambiguity, and moral confusion. In which case proves my theory people are inherently good, but become corrupted by society and other outside forces. You can fallow Marlow in the novella in how he is forced to align himself with either the hypocritical and malicious colonial bureaucracy or the malevolent Kurtz. This will assure the reasons why the nature of good and evil is one of humanities never ending conflicts.