This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Marlow’s Opinion Of Women In The Heart Of Darkness

2132 words - 9 pages

Marlow's Opinion of Women in the Heart of Darkness In Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, there are very few female characters. While they do not bear great importance to the plot of the story, they do give it more substance and insight into the other characters. These women introduce subjects such as: lust, love, purity, fate, and ignorance, to name a few. Without these topics, Heart of Darkness would have lacked the emotion and energy that these females provided, thus making it not nearly as interesting for the readers. Nevertheless, Conrad's main character, Charlie Marlow describes them in ways that usually degrades them and/or attempts to take away their power. Marlow makes them appear inferior to serve as a strategy to deny the importance of these women as well as his affinity with them. Heart of Darkness tells the story of a man, Marlow, a thirty-two year old introspective sailor, and his journey through the savage jungle of the Congo. Marlow is thought to be an autobiographical character and therefore, Joseph Conrad himself. In the jungle, an ivory company is located and provides the setting for our characters. The novel continues on to show him the real horror of life"¦and the evil that lives in all men, even himself. In Heart of Darkness, Marlow talks about how women would live without men, "They live in a world of their own and there had never been anything like it and never can be." The woman's world that Marlow imagines "is too beautiful altogether," and "if they were to set it up it would go to pieces"¦"(Conrad 26). Nelson Hilton, in his book Lexis Complexes adds, to appreciate the pun which then follows, note that Conrad had already written a female acquaintance that "woman have a more penetrating vision, and a greater endurance of life's perversities. Some confounded fact which we men have been living contentedly with ever since the day of creation, would start up and knock the whole thing over." (Nelson) Nelson feels that it is patriarchy that gives Conrad this opinion.Although shallow, Rita Bergenholtz's thoughts on Marlow's introduction of the two knitting woman provide a good starting idea of his opinion of women. It also helps support the theory that Marlow tries to reduce the importance of women and deny his similarity with them.The manner in which Marlow introduces these two women is significant, for it alerts us to fact that in order to deal with people, places, and things Marlow must transform them into abstractions or symbols (32).He does this to degrade them as nothing but body shapes. At the same time, these women also symbolize the fate of Marlow and his travels.This scene is often compared to a poem by Vergil, in the sixth book of the Aeneid. It is about Aeneas' decent to hell and the guide, the Sibyl of Cumae, that takes him through hell. Both the guide and the women know of the fate that awaits the adventurers. They both know the secrets in the heart...

Find Another Essay On Marlow’s Opinion Of Women In The Heart Of Darkness

Women in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

760 words - 4 pages In Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of Darkness, women are portrayed as being inferior to men in nearly every way. Two of the story’s main characters, Charlie Marlow and Mr. Kurtz, appear to view women as weak and powerless objects, trapped in a world of fantasy all their own. In this novella, women are treated as merely the trophies of men. Their purpose in society, however, is left uncertain through the entire novella. Towards the beginning

Role of Women in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

735 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Heart of Darkness             In the tale Heart of Darkness, Kurtz, a European "White Knight", sets out on a crusade to win the hearts and minds of the lesser African people. Kurtz was ignorant of the degree to which Africa is dangerous, wild, timeless, feminine, unfettered by letters, religious, and vibrant. His love turns to rape when he discovers how unfitted he is to master the magnificent vitality of a natural

Joseph Conrad's The Women of Heart of Darkness

685 words - 3 pages 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

Modern day representation of racism of Indigenous Africans and sexism of women in "Heart of Darkness"

2260 words - 9 pages Essay Question: From a modern context Conrad's representation of Africans in "Heart of Darkness" may be read as racist, while his representation of women in the text may be read as sexist. Write an assessment of Conrad's representation of indigenous Africans and his representation of women from your reading of this novella.Often a modern day reader will perceive the works of an early 20th century author as being sexist and racist. This is

"Heart of Darkness": The Darkness

1381 words - 6 pages Images of Darkness, in the novel "Heart of Darkness" represent the savagery that takes over one's soul; it can be delayed but never stopped, and no one is safe from it. This is shown through many characters and images in this novel. Kurtz, the Accountant, and the Pilgrims are all symbols that show how the darkness has turned them into savages. Marlow, the harlequin, and the idea of work all show that the darkness can be delayed from getting your

The Heart of Darkness

896 words - 4 pages Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness portrays the soul of man as evil, to him the heart is a dark place filled with malcontent. The heart of man is not naturally evil; man is sick, and sick people do bad things. The appearance of man in an outward form suggests evil intent; however, this is just the byproduct of a spiritual war that is being waged for man’s soul. Just as when a man is sick and he lashes out from pain; humanity is doing the same

The Other in The Heart of Darkness

2506 words - 10 pages distorted. By assuming a feminist reading, it is apparent that women within the novel are presented as an inferior gender and are always defined in terms of their male counterpart. Each of the different reading practices produces its own unique interpretations of the text, allowing different ideas to be extracted from the novel.While adhering to the dominant reading of the "Heart of Darkness", the novel can be read as criticism of the treatment of

Colonialism In Heart Of Darkness

1418 words - 6 pages For all of Conrad's good intentions in writing Heart of Darkness, he was limited in what he could say and represent by his society and social understandings. He wrote from within the discourse of race and colonialism that was predominant at the time, and encountered difficulties when using language to attempt to represent those things outside his cultural arena. In writing the novel, Conrad could not escape the influence of his culture's

isolation in heart of darkness

869 words - 4 pages Have you ever been alone? Felt alone? With only yourself and your mind? Eventually our mind takes over, and makes up for the solitude. With isolation comes time, and with to much of it, can be harmful. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness many of the characters are alone in there own way. Marlow finds himself on a journey feeling nothing but blank space between the few people around him, and like no one understands what’s going on with him and

Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness"

3055 words - 12 pages In Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" there are many controversies. In this paper I wish to discuss two of them: light vs. dark and black vs. white. I will write about the differences between Conrad's perception of what and why he wrote the characters as he did and Marlow's ways of acting in the story because of the way Conrad wrote his character that reminds me so much of Conrad. I wish to incorporate quotes that will help me describe me

The Darkness Of Man's Heart

1049 words - 4 pages Is man born basically good and then acquire evil from society, or is man born basically evil and then learn values and decency from society? Is it one's psyche that tells him that injuring a fellow human being is wrong; or is it the society around him? William Golding's view of this question is displayed in his famous novel The Lord of the Flies. In this novel, Golding uses specific passages to reveal certain elements of his theme. He uses the

Similar Essays

Lieshod Marlow’s Lie In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

620 words - 2 pages Marlow’s Lie in Heart of Darkness     Throughout the Heart of Darkness scenes, we get several glimpses of Marlow's particular attitudes towards women, that they are creatures that live "in a world of their own, and that there had never been anything like it, and never can be" (Longman, p. 2199). Women are able to create and see the beauty in life, something that is harder for men to do, roughened by hard work and misfortunes. Marlow also

The Accidental Hero: An In Depth Analysis In Marlow’s Role In Heart Of Darkness

1763 words - 7 pages In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Marlow can be seen as the hero of the story despite his alternating morals and the fact that Marlow ultimately does nothing to improve the situation in Africa. Throughout the whole narrative Marlow finds himself thrust into many shocking situations yet chooses the path of an observant bystander, giving his own opinion at the time, but no lasting action or motivation is conceived. On top of this fact Marlow’s

The Role Of Women In Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness

913 words - 4 pages period of peace in Great Britain. Thus, in most Conrad’s works, there was less involvement of women characters by creating less character than men and not letting them play a primary role that control or shape the plot of the story. The Heart of Darkness is an exception to the fact that in Conrad’s novels women are unimportant characters. Even though we know that author’s women usually do not talk so much and men outnumber them, it does not

The Role Of Women In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1042 words - 4 pages foreshadows the importance a woman will play in the plot of the story. Through word usage and a more respectful tone, the reader understands that the Narrator has a favorable opinion of women. In the ?big picture? of this great story, women play a very important role in Heart of Darkness. The intended, like all aspects of the story, has deep metaphorical meaning. In context of the story, she represents civility and industrialization. Another