In leaves a changed man. He begins to think

In Marlow’s mission to find Kurtz in the Congo, he is also trying to find himself. Marlow, like Kurtz had good intentions upon his arrival to the Congo. Conrad tries to show us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and that Kurtz is what Marlow would become. Marlow is given bits of information about Kurtz’s actions and finds that he himself identifies with him, and is becoming somewhat fond of the man. As the people began to defame Kurtz, he became more interested in meeting Kurtz. Marlow is already aware of the similarities they both share. They are both imperialists, though Marlow detests the treatment of the natives by the Belgium, he simultaneously abhorrence toward the African people. Kurtz abandons the pretense of helping the natives achieve civilization, instead he adopts their costumes and becomes their leader in his never-ending search for ivory.  Furthermore, Marlow also admires Kurtz resourcefulness and survival skills, especially when he is shown to have not died from fever, “The wilderness…had caressed him…it had taken him, loved him, embraced him, got into his veins, consumed his flush, and sealed his soul to its own by the inconceivable ceremonies of some devilish initiation. He was its spoiled and pampered favorite.” (Conrad 48). At some point in his journey, Marlow finds himself idolizing and obsessing over Kurtz, just as the natives do. The wilderness is what drove Kurtz to insanity and almost did the same to Marlow. Luckily for Marlow he was able to leave before it could totally consume him as well.  Marlow leaves a changed man. He begins to think as Kurtz would justify his evil actions. The time that Marlow spent in the wilderness affected his thinking and ability to justify things rationally. A prime example of this skewed thinking comes up when he decides to lie to Kurtz’s betrothed about his last words. Which is, “He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision, -he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath – The horror! The Horror!” (Conrad 86). It had been made apparent that up until now that Marlow hated lies. Maybe it changed due to his contact with Kurtz. Marlow is the man that Kurtz used to be, and Kurtz is the man who Marlow could be. Marlow even aspires to be like Kurtz. Since his perception had not been distorted he may had found a different path leading to his fate. Kurtz tapered off into insanity, driven by the wilderness. Marlow, found himself, with his back to the jungle, looking over the edge of a cliff that would fall into insanity and turns around. Instead of doing what Kurtz had done and fail into insanity, he turned around and left. Had Marlow lived in the Congo any longer he might have found himself in the same place as Kurtz was. What distinguishes the two men, is that Kurtz abandoned him and went too far over the edge, Marlow on the other hand is aware of just how close he was of becoming what Kurtz was. It is apparent that Marlow could have become the same as Kurtz and suffer the same fate.  Marlow witnessing the end stages of Kurtz’s death and seeing how he was suffering through his passed memories, and the pain that escaped him in his last breath changed him. Knowing that if he didn’t make a change in his life that he could be like Kurtz one day looking back on his life and regret the things that he has done. Not only did Kurtz lose his life, he suffered the lose of his soul.