Ship Departs to Central Station

Later that night, Marlow awakes and finds that Kurtz has snuck into the woods to go to the natives’ camp. He follows him and persuades him to return however, lest he be “lost”. Lost in this context refers to him being completely engulfed by the darkness. He returns to the ship but is too ill to survive the journey and gives Marlow his important papers to keep before he dies. His last words are, “The horror! The horror!” which could refer to his own life or all of humanity. This ends the life of Kurtz, but his final words represent the paradox of his life; either he fully understood the darkness of humanity, or he understood nothing and was overcome by evil. Marlow then falls ill and nearly dies, but he survives and returns to the Sepulchral City.

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