Many of Marlow’s crew have ambitions of moving up the corporate ladder of the Company. Insatiable greed for wealth and power defines their characters. This greed quickly demolishes any sense of morality they may hold and we find a handful of them attempting to get in Marlow’s good graces for the sake of his aunt’s influences. Kurtz’s ambitions do not stop at merely moving up in the Company; he desires to prove himself superior to all Africans. Even Marlow is sucked in; he tries obsessively to get as close to Kurtz as he can – both physically and emotionally. Marlow proves as attracted to power as any of his corrupt colleagues.
Kurtz is among the most powerful characters in the novel because he has a profound understanding and control over the minds of the native Africans and access to a large stash of ivory, which gives him leverage within the Company.
Kurtz is among the weakest of the characters in the novel because he shows little self-restraint in his greed for ivory and eventually dies after succumbing to the madness of the interior.