Joseph Conrad's The Women of Heart of Darkness
The novella Heart of Darkness illustrates readers with three different types of depictions that men had of women during the late 1800’s; also known as the imperialistic era. These depictions were as follows; the naive woman, the mistress, and the wealthy widow. The naïve woman was personified by Kurtz intended. The mistress was personified by the native African woman. The wealthy widow is personified by Marlow’s aunt. This assumption can be made on various levels. The most obvious level is how Joseph Conrad never gave these characters names. Also when they are mentioned it is very brief.
Kurtz’s intended is the naïve character. She is alone and waiting for Kurtz for as long as she has too. She is like a European, wealthy and useless woman, who has nothing better to do than just sit around and wait for her fiancé to return when ever he wants. It is as if she lives in her own world that revolves around her, without an concern for reality and other people. When Marlow goes to visit her, her first question is what were his last words. It seems as though she needs some type of reassurance that Kurtz was thinking about her. It maybe due to the fact the she suspected Kurtz of something or she just didn’t feel that his love was sincere as it used to be. Marlow lies to her and tells her he said her name, and she is content with that. She doesn’t even ask how he died. I don’t agree with Marlow lying to Kurtz’s intended. He should have told her the truth and not lie to her. There is a small possibility that maybe Marlow was attracted to her and didn’t want to hurt his chances with her. The small part that she has in this novella she manages to sound like a naïve woman.
The second character that we are introduced to is Kurtz’s African mistress. The mistress is a beautiful woman who seems to evoke some sort of control over...