What are the terrible things we do to each other?
murderFreud's Theory of Instincts: Freud says that we all have these impulses inside of us, but we don't do them because we repress them. Are there instances you can recall where you had a dark, depraved thought but stopped yourself from acting upon it?
Reading selection from Phil Caputo's A Rumor of War. This selection speaks to the Mai Lai massacre, a U.S. atrocity during the Vietnam War revealing Lt. Calley who "plunged all the way down, discovering in the bottommost depths a capity for malice they probably never suspected was there".
In Conrad's novel, Kurtz succumbs to anger, destruction, and hatred while gaining power in the process. Some people are capable of anything. All people can succumb to disturbing behaviors.
Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe famously criticized Heart of Darkness in his 1975 lecture An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", saying the novella de-humanized Africans, denied them language and culture and reduced them to a metaphorical extension of the dark and dangerous jungle into which the Europeans venture. Listen to a recent NPR interview with Chinua Achebe on All Things Considered.
A lively debate: is this a racist book?