The Representation Of Women In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

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This ambiguity and complexity can also be observed when we regard the depiction of women in Heart of Darkness. The story has been told from a very limited point of view and the characters we meet in the novel are as Marlow has witnessed them or as he wants the reader to know them. Marlow’s narrative is primarily the story of Kurtz and concerns itself with a masculine world in which women either are largely absent or they are present as a means of achieving man’s need or as an object of masculine gaze. But the reader cannot hold Conrad liable for the point of view expressed by Marlow or other characters any more than Chaucer can be held liable for the opinion of his characters in Canterbury Tales. The book should be seen and critically approached in its entirety. And the novel majorly is Marlow’s story and his reflections about his experiences in Congo it is not surprising that we do not find any major female character here. However, it is the representation of women and the attitude towards them which has forced critics to question Conrad’s/Marlow’s patriarchal approach. The reader encounters five women in the course of whole narrative. Out of these five only two women,…show more content…
The importance of the character of Marlow’s Aunt lies not only in exposing Marlow’s attitude and his misogynistic bias against women but it also reveals to the reader the theme of the novel i.e. appearance verses reality of colonial mission in Africa. It foreshadows the narrative that is to follow in a very post-modern way. Marlow’s aunt tells him that she is ‘ready to do anything’ as she thinks Marlow’s wish to go to Africa as ‘a glorious

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