Sexism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1446 Words 6 Pages
The voice of the winner is the one who tells history, but often times there are many important perspectives that get left out. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness many such voices are forgotten and ignored. Most obviously the natives, but one particular group is swept even further to the side in this novel. That group is the feminine perspective. Throughout the novel there is an overall lack of appearance by women. When they are included in a scene their thoughts are hardly heard, and if they do get the chance to be expressed they are dismissed as whimsical and naïve. By closely examining the role women play in the novel a totally different perspective on the destructive nature of western imperialism begins to develop. One in which members …show more content…
Women are seen as being inferior to men. They cannot run this world because they do not acknowledge nor can they understand the darkness and evil that underlays almost everything. Marlow’s reaction to his aunt shows how the society of the time believed it was a mans job to protect a woman from the harshness of this world that she could by no means handle. As the story continues on we learn of Mr. Kurtz “intended”. Instead of calling her by his fiancé or by her actual name she is only ever referred to as his “my intended”. Almost everything that Mr. Kurtz discusses is something of his possession, “My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my—’ everything belonged to him.” By using the same pronoun with his fiancé he is regarding her as an object rather than a dignified human being. By not allowing her to be a subject of her own she is kept from the realities of this world just like Marlow’s aunt. Mr. Kurtz fiancé, who is white European, is no more respected than the natives. Woman may be held on a lifted pedestal in the novel while the natives are seen as savage animals, but both group’s thoughts and desires are oppressed by the white male and the western imperialism they implement. The dominant idea is the only one that is heard during this time period. Western imperialism has been given free reign to run …show more content…
The woman of Conrad’s novel are held on a pedestal where their voices have been destroyed just like those of the natives. The natives in the novel were oppressed by the desires of the white male to take their resources and implement their idealogie with out considering the sonsequences it may have. For woman the unequal sharing of power has caused their voice to be destroyed. The realities of the world are hidden from them so they can be this perfect representation of what western imperialism can create for those who are supported by it. From a limited perspective this life might seem like one of lucury, but it is actually one that is oppressive and destroying perspectives thar are not those of the white male. For both the natives and woman of Heart of there basic nature has been changed and altered by the influence of the white European male. Neither group is seen as a true human, but instead objects. The natives are those objects that are raw and in need of molding. While the woman are the perfect object that must be kept unattainable and

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