Theme Of Gender In Heart Of Darkness

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Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness spins a dark contrast between two different worlds. These worlds being the civilized life of Europe against the savage wilderness of colonial Africa. Running parallel to the contrast in worlds is the contrast between Kurtz’s lovers who he has taken up in each of the world 's. The lines of gender and wilderness in The Heart of Darkness are somewhat blurred as the protagonist time and again personifies wilderness into a living, female role. This serves to be ironic as Marlow’s view towards women is that of a negative context. Often times painting women as naive and their purpose is to serve man. This paper will argue that in the novel, wilderness and nature as well as women are considered something for man 's …show more content…
In describing the coastline Marlow personifies the wilderness, “as if nature herself had tried to ward off intruders”. This foreshadows what is to come once they enter the wilderness and do not take heed to the warnings nature is giving them. This may also relate to Marlow’s view of women being insignificant or clueless therefore he ignores the warning he sees. Having arrived at the central station Marlow describes the wilderness and the settlement as; “waiting patiently for the passing away of this fantastic invasion”. This further instills the argument that the wilderness is alive and is being invaded by man. Marlow further personifies the wilderness again when he describes the African man who returns to the wilderness’ bosom (Conrad 125). The word choice of “bosom” further instills that the wilderness around them is female and very much alive. It leads one to believe that the native Africans are a part of this wilderness as well since the wilderness accepts him back in. Furthermore, the general manager’s uncle makes a point of saying that “the climate may do away with this difficulty for you” meaning that the wilderness will kill Kurtz before he becomes an issue for the manager (Conrad 134). Here they are hoping that the wilderness will further their agenda for them. Once Marlow’s journey resumes towards Kurtz we read another interesting choice in wording as Marlow says “We …show more content…
The author uses very careful syntax to craft a story with such deeper meaning than face value. Thus the themes of man exploiting women and nature are apparent throughout the novel. In this novel the wilderness as well as women are purposed only for the use of man. It is apparent through the depictions of the wilderness and the personification that Marlow uses when describing it. As well it is shown by the attitude he takes towards the women encountered within this

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