Analysis Of King Solomon's Mines And Its Undertone Of Sexism

1161 words - 5 pages

Analysis of King Solomon's Mines and its Undertone of Sexism

During the nineteenth century, women were viewed as inferior to men. Men also saw women as prizes as well as possessions. We can see this undertone in the book King Solomon's Mines by H.Rider Haggard. Here, the writer uses Lyn Pykett's essay "Gender, Degeneration, Renovation: Some Contexts of the Modern" as the backbone for the comparison and discussion.

As Allen Quartermain and company gets closer and closer to the diamonds, the description of the scenery is very feministic: "For the nipple of the mountain did not rise out of its exact center."(Haggard 101) As someone had pointed out that the map included in the book also has a hint of a female body, if turned upside down. The Sheba's breasts resemble the breasts of a female, and the location of the diamonds and treasures, which is further down the map, signifies the private of a female. "Woman is a wholly sexual creature, to be defined entirely in terms of sexual relations and the reproductive function."(Pykett 23) When a man meets a woman, his ultimate goal is to get, as Haggard implied in the book, the treasures of the woman; therefore, one can also relate to the scene where Allen Quartermain and company makes a great effort to reach Sheba's breasts. During that phase of the trip, they face many hardships, such as starvation and dehydration. This part of the book could be interpreted as the time when a woman tells her man to slow down because she is not ready to be intimate, yet man, like the characters in the book would continue to strive to their ultimate goal. It is also important to note that after the characters reached Sheba's breasts; they found a stream, killed an inco and had a big feast. Here is a quote from Allen Quartermain after the treat, complementing the view of Sheba's breasts: "I know not how to describe the glorious panorama which unfolded itself to our enraptured gaze. I have never seen anything like it before, nor shall, I suppose, again."(Haggard 104) Another point that should be observed is the fact that the road to the treasure becomes wide and smooth: "It was a very different business traveling along down hill on that magnificent pathway…. Every mile we walked the atmosphere grew softer and balmier, and the country before us shone with a yet more luminous beauty"(Haggard 107). This part of the literature signifies men's thoughts when they get to that first stage of intimacy. Men rejoice, which is equivalent to having a big feast. Men also think that the road to the next stage of intimacy would be smooth sailing after he has broken the first barrier. During the later part of the story, when Quartermain Company are close to finding the Solomon's treasure, they encounter more difficulties. For example, they were in the middle of the war facing the wrath of Twala's army, and also witch doctress Gagool's trap, to which encounter almost cost them their lives. Again, these obstacles portray...

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