Gender Roles In Heart Of Darkness

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In the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, readers witness the transformation of gender roles within the novella. This transformation that occurs is not an obvious however; readers can see the difference in the perception of women in the novella. As a result of modernism there is a shift in views of various aspects and concepts in life. Some such shifts include the way that writers wrote, what writers wrote about, it is a period within the enlightenment, where scholars developed their approach to various ideals therefore changing society’s perspective on things. Evidence of modernism is redolent throughout Conrad’s novella. Specifically, in relation to gender readers can see the difference as oppose to indifference that some women in the novella were characterized to have.
Firstly, Marlow’s aunt, she is the first woman introduced in the novella. Through her introduction, readers see much of the gender roles. The way that the narrator introduces her, it makes it clear that women are tangential to the real world. The only reason Marlow goes to his aunt is because all other channels has failed, it is evident that she is his last resort, and he is surprised that she actually helps. This clearly brings readers up to reality, making them realize that in that society, women are definitely treated as unequal to men. Readers can see that he refers to her disrespectfully “Then -- would you believe it? -- I tried the women. I, Charlie Marlow, set the women to work -- to get a job.”
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