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"He [Kurtz] began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, 'must necessarily appear to them [savages] in the nature of supernatural beings - we approach them with the might of a deity,' and so on, and so on. 'By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,' etc., etc. From that point he soared and took me with him. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember, you know. It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence. It made me tingle with enthusiasm." (2.29)
Kurtz honestly believes, or used to believe, in the goodness of imperialism. He believed that the white man could bring goodness and enlightenment to the black Africans. But to Kurtz, this is only possible if the white man plays the part of a god. Kurtz envisions a utopia not of equality between the two races, but of a peaceful and benevolent reign of the white man over the black. Marlow, hypnotized by Kurtz’s eloquence, becomes excited at this prospect.
"I had no idea of the conditions, he [the harlequin] said: these heads were the heads of rebels. I shocked him excessively by laughing. Rebels! What would be the next definition I was to hear? There had been enemies, criminals, workers – and these were rebels. Those rebellious heads looked very subdued to me on their sticks." (3.6)
Marlow shows surprising sympathy for the native Africans, whom he sees now have borne terrible misnomers by the Europeans. The white men have called them "enemies, criminals, workers" and now "rebels" when the black Africans have merited no such titles. They have not been allowed enough power or freedom of choice to be justifiably called such things. Marlow hints this to the harlequin by commenting on how "subdued" the so-called "rebellious heads" look "on their sticks."
"'He [the harlequin] suspected there was an active ill-will towards him on the part of these white men that –.' 'You are right,' I said, remembering a certain conversation I had overheard. 'The manager thinks you ought to be hanged.'" (3.21)
The manager’s racism extends towards Russians as well. He wants to kill the harlequin simply because he is different from the others.