Tag Archives: enlarged mind

Kicked loose from the earth

“I tried to break the spell—the heavy, mute spell of the wilderness—that seemed to draw him to its pitiless breast by the awakening of forgotten and brutal instincts, by the memory of gratified and monstrous passions. This alone, I was convinced, had driven him out to the edge of the forest, to the bush, towards the gleam of fires, the throb of drums, the drone of weird incantations; this alone had beguiled his unlawful soul beyond the bounds of permitted aspirations. And don’t you see, the terror of the position was not in being knocked on the head—though I had a very lively sense of that danger too—but in this, that I had to deal with a being to whom I could not appeal in the name of anything high or low. I had, even like the niggers, to invoke him—himself—his own exalted and incredible degradation. There was nothing either above or below him, and I knew it. He had kicked himself loose of the earth. Confound the man! He had kicked the very earth to pieces. He was alone, and I before him did not know whether I stood on the ground or floated in the air.”

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. “Heart of Darkness” Oxford University Press, Oxford NY, 2002. pp. 173-174.

The point being made here is somewhat confusing yet interesting. Perhaps it can be seen as Marlow explains Kurtz’s state almost as though he has become free from worldly limitations; that somehow with his integration into the natives’ lives has made him become one who should be acknowledged and remembered for his “enlarged mind”.