The native woman is dressed for battle, with her gauntlets and helmet-like hair. The African woman represents how Kurtz has formed an alliance with the natives. When Kurtz was alive, she was too happy for a while, and now when Kurtz is dead, she is unhappy for life. These adult females unimpeachably accept the destiny that lies in front for the work forces that come in the office. She cherishes the thought that Kurtz is a man dedicated to saving the Africans.
Best that they stay naive and simple. In the time that the story was written, it would have been crazy to think of a woman and a man having a mutual friendship that had no loving or sexual components. In almost all of these encounters, black Africans are denied speech. Conrad offered no support to the cause of women by following convention and minimizing the viability and agency of females through the creation of two separate, engendered spheres that co-existed in civilization but did not have equal status. Bergenholtz agree that throughout Heart of Darkness there are tones of gender prejudice, but the way that these three different authors perceive and interpret those gender tones are to a certain extent different. Conrad only used the women in the story as symbols for his thematic metaphors.
First he describes her beauty: She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. Both are potential love interests for Kurtz. Marlow clearly believes that the function of adult females in society is to maintain to their responsibilities. Conrad uses light imagery as a symbol of civilization. He is a man who has dedicated his life to the ways of the water.
However, Conrad's condemnation of women is no longer a valid interpretation of women in the 21st century; thus, we must overlook Conrad's invalid judgment of women and take a modernistic approach in scrutinizing the women's actual representation in Heart of Darkness. Part of the reason the world in Heart of Darkness is so grim for the dudes is that they have to protect women's idealism. Not only did their myopic perspectives hinder them from learning the horrid truths of European colonialism, but their emotions were also too strong that it kept them oblivious to this terrible reality. The natives are effectively dehumanised because they are presented as nothing more than? It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Women were treated merely as property and were used for producing material within the household. The men in the story can all be seen as representative of varying shades of grey on the scale from barbarism to civilization, but the women are presented in stark contrast to one another.
Only recently have authors portrayed women in a dominant, protagonistic light. Her repressed sexuality, further battened down by her mourning, is part of Kurtz's horror. Status of Women in the 19th Century The industrialization of the 19th century brought change to the world of women. In much the same way, Europe itself is far removed from the experiences of the characters of the story. The first women that Conrad's main character, Marlow, recounts are the two knitters at the Company office in Brussels.
. The intended, like all aspects of the story, has deep metaphorical meaning. Even his aunt who so willingly helps him find work is not spoken of lovingly. Marlow is the kind of man who can disappear for great lengths of time on a boat because he is not attached to any close family or friends. Thus, Conrad offered no advancement to the cause of women by following convention and minimizing the agency of females through the creation of two separate, engendered spheres. While the image seems to resemble lady justice, there seems to be very little justice in Africa. Remember that a symbol is something an object, a person, a place, etc.
To him, women were nothing more than soft, delicate, and naive. His five women characters were kept unnamed and their speech limited, highlighting the belittlement of women in the male-dominated society. It takes a certain kind of individual to travel the world. Their perspectives on women, class, and race were in opposition to one another, yet they both share some common views on white male dominance of 19th century America. The two spheres are diametrically opposed! Hence, it cannot be overlooked that there still exist many literary examples of social disregard for woman potential.
This is likely what scares Marlow. His journey starts from the Thames River in England to deep in the Congo River of Africa. A definite shift from the antediluvian ways can be seen, and the overall complexity of women characters has increased exponentially. This article discusses just a few of the symbols found in the novel and explores the symbolism in Heart of Darkness. In this encounter, the Africans are seen as a howling mob. A definite shift from the antediluvian ways can be seen, and the overall complexity… 1481 Words 6 Pages The Role of Marlow as Narrator in Heart of Darkness Whether Marlow is, or is not, Conrad has been discussed extensively.