r several problems with his boat and other distractions, he finally finds Kurtz in the heart of the jungle and brings him out even though the man is so sick he is already close to death. What is confusing is the way that Conrad tells the story. The reader gets to near the end of the story still confused about what this all means. Most of the story is meant to be a criticism of imperialism, but Conrad uses a very sophisticated modern form of expression that tries to say something meaningful without actually addressing the point. Fortunately, Conrad includes a scene at the end of the story, in which Marlow goes to visit the deceased Kurtzs Intended, that helps to explain some of what Conrad intended his story to mean. The dialogue Conrad writes between Marlow and this woman sheds light on the characters of Marlow and Kurtz through the medium of a third perspective. Through their conversation, the reader gains insight into the two mens basic characters and some hints about how to interpret the story. Although its easy to overlook, especially given the dramatic action of the rest of the story, the repetition in this two-page dialogue provides the reader with some clues to help interpret the storys meaning.
This scene demands attention through its use of repetition, which is also what gives the scene its dramatic impact. This technique is brought into play when the Intended begs Marlow to repeat Kurtzs dying words. Almost every word she uses in the sentence is repeated as she says, “I want – I want – something – something – to – to live with” (123). The repetition slows down the pace of the narrative and forces the reader to pay closer attention to what is being said. It also demonstrates the ladys desire to slow down time, perhaps even freeze it to a time when she could pretend Kurtz was still alive. Marlows strong desire to overcome the truth reveals his own internal weaknesses and inability to reject the soul-changing knowledge hes gained.