Women characters in heart of darknessPresentation Transcript
Women Characters in HEART OF DARKNESS Joseph Conrad went to Congo in 1890, and came back to Europe in 1891. His African experience was a disaster, his career as a sailor came to an end. He said that until he visited African in 1890. He was “just a mere animal” he meant by these words that he experienced in Africa a peculiarly intense insight into the possibilities of evil in a man.
Conrad did not have the inventive faculty. He was not primarily interested in the creation of character.
The characters do not exist as profound portraits or remarkable photographs.
Conrad’s women usually do not talk a lot. He rarely puts high-flown male language into women’s mouth. Women in Conrad’s novels are out numbered by male characters, but it does not mean that women play a minor part in the Conradian world.
In hearts of darkness women characters do not play any significance role, nor do they have any independent existence.
Marlow’s aunt was a clear enthusiastic soul. She knew the wife of a very high personage in the company’s administration, so through the efforts and influence of his aunt, Marlow was able to get a job.
His aunt was a good compassionate woman. She advised Marlow to wean “those ignorant millions from their horrid ways”. This shows that she was out of touch with truth, with what was happening on the African continent.
The role that aunt play is that she manages to get Marlow’s a job, thereby providing him a chance to see for himself all that is happening up to Congo.
THE TWO WOMEN KNITTING BLACK WOOL
Black color symbolizes death and these strange women indicate that something is wrong or might get wrong. “Often far away there I thought of these two, guarding the door of darkness, knitting black wool as for a warm pall, one introducing continuously to the unknown, the other scrutinizing the cheery and foolish faces with unconcerned old eyes. Ave! Old knitter of black wool… not many of those she looked at ever saw her again…”
They represent European civilization, the imperialism. They are also the death images of imperialism. These women remained silent through out the scene but their presence produce a fright full sight.
The Negress is seen at the inner station she loves Kurtz. Marlow introduces her as a woman that walked with measured steps.
According to Reid, “From this incident and from the fact that Kurtz had more than once during his illness threatened to kill the Russian, it seems plausible that the conversation between the woman and the seriously ill Kurtz concern the Russian as a successor. The woman is urging Kurtz to sacrifice himself for the good of the tribe…… Kurtz would prefer to murder the Russian lest the natives take things into their own hands.”
When Marlow meets Kurtz’s intended, he finds her dressed all in black; she was in mourning, though Kurtz was dead for more than a year.
Marlow bowed his head before the faith that was in her. When Kurtz was alive, she was too happy for a while, and now when Kurtz is dead, she is unhappy for life.
There is no denying the fact that Conrad’s women are sentimental.
Conrad’s women are either mute, or talk very little, but their souls speak through their silence.
Conrad makes the souls of his mute women speak through their silence.