Heart Of Darkness

864 Words4 Pages
Female characters are scarce in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The ones that do exist, however, are carefully crafted characters who serve to develop major themes in the novel. The women of Heart of Darkness all serve a purpose, whether or not it is immediately apparent. The doors to the trading company are manned by two women who Marlow sees as “guarding the door of Darkness” (12). As they sit there, they both knit “black wool” (11). A clear representation of the mythological Fates, these two women determine the Marlow’s future. They lead him in to the trading company, where he gets his job and is sent to Africa. Even Marlow seems to know this, evidenced by the fact that he salutes her with the Latin “morituri te salutant” (12). Marlow knows that these women mark the beginning of what will be a…show more content…
The Fates have sentenced Marlow to die in Africa and come out reborn as a changed man who has gone in to the abyss and back. In a classic example of the Hero’s Journey, Marlow’s fate is to go in to the heart of darkness and come out alive, and these two women are the ones who will send them there. The two women in Marlow talks to out of Africa, besides the two knitting women, are his aunt and Kurtz’s Intended. They both serve to confirm Marlow’s view that women are “out of touch…[and] live in a world of their own” (14). When his aunt learns that he is going to Africa, all she can think about is the possibility that Marlow will “[wean] this ignorant [Africans] from their horrible ways” (14). She is living out of touch from the reality of colonialism. Marlow sees the colonization of Africa as a brutal, violent thing, while his aunt represents every ignorant person who let colonization go on without truly understanding the horror behind it all. Even more ignorant to the world around her is Kurtz’s Intended. When

More about Heart Of Darkness

Open Document