Conrad's Portrayal Of Women In Heart Of Darkness

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CONRAD’S PERSPECTIVE OF WOMEN IN “HEART OF DARKNESS” Joseph Conrad is always accused for not treating his female characters seriously. They remain like an undeveloped fetus in contrast to the powerful male characters that we see in “Heart of Darkness”. Attitude of Marlow, the narrator, in the text is such that women are too fragile to handle the truth of real world. This is the reason why Conrad is considered a misogynist. However, it would be clearly wrong to accept the protagonist’s mindset as that of the writer. In “Heart of Darkness”, Conrad creates two strongly identical men who would have seen the end of their life in similar manner, had not one of them learnt from another’s experience. In “Heart of Darkness”, the women characters are endowed only with a minor role. Not much is seen being spoken by them and neither of them is given an identity. This can be seen in terms of the relations these women are referred. For instance, the woman who helps Marlow procure a job is called as “Marlow’s Aunt”, while other two women are identified in terms of their relationship with Kurtz, that is, Kurtz’s mistress and Intended. In fact, Chinua Achebe has complained that Conrad has not given the “Savage Girl” any speech. If scrutinized on Marlow’s pattern of thinking regarding women, throughout the text he looks at women from the Victorian…show more content…
Females are made to appear on the peripheries and allowed only the secondary roles. The tale itself is concerned with a kind of mainstream male experience. The text is structured in such a manner that Kurtz’s “horror” is revealed to male and female readers alike, but is deliberately hidden from Kurtz’s Intended. The woman that we meet next as per the story is the Kurtz’s Mistress but I would discuss about her in the end. Before that I’ll share my views on Kurtz’s Intended. This is because there are many similarities between Marlow’s Aunt and Kurtz’s
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