Women In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

1581 Words 7 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Because of the strict rules set on what was acceptable behavior of women, the often couldn’t go out because their husbands were doing something else. This fact is noted when Marlow’s aunts states that “[it was] queer how out of touch with truth women [were]. They live[d] in a world of their own” Conrad (16). Women have always lived in the same world with men and that world has always existed for them to experience, but they were denied the world because men believed they had to “help them stay in that beautiful world of their own, lest [theirs] gets worse” (Conrad 67). What is this “world of their own” and how could a woman possibly ruin a man’s world? In 1869 Susan B. Anthony along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association and wrote the Susan B. Anthony amendment in 1878. This amendment later became the nineteenth amendment, giving women the right to vote. To this day, the United States is still functioning properly, so what reason is there to believe that women are incapable of maintaining the stability in a man’s world? Susan B. Anthony’s accomplishments proved that a woman could make logical decisions in a man’s world without causing everything to …show more content…
As Jeremy Hawthorn stated in his essay, “The Women of Heart of Darkness,” the “comments made by Marlow about ‘women’ are clearly aimed at European women; they do not apply to the African woman” (406). The truth of the matter is that African tribes had a tendency of being matriarchal so obviously they held a higher position and different standards than European women. When Marlow first saw Kurtz’s mistress he noticed that “[s]he walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high…[s]he was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress” (Conrad 85–86). This elaborate description of the African mistress provides an image of immense nobility and a high class even though she is a mistress; however, when Marlow describes the Intended and how she looked when he went to her to speak with her about Kurtz he states that, “[s]he came forward, all in black, with a pale head, floating towards [him] in the dusk” (Conrad 105). In comparing the two descriptions, it is noted that the mistress is described with life, beauty, and integrity, which no mistress would be allowed to claim in Europe. The Intended, however, having, “a mature capacity for fidelity,” is denied such high appraisal. She is represented as a dark,

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