Theme Of Women In Heart Of Darkness

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Women have impacted history in ways that have changed the world, and have also changed the way that women are viewed today. Women, however, were not always viewed and respected in the way they are today. In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and in Nuruddin Farah’s Gifts that women were treated completely different. Besides the social discrimination based solely upon race, and also the introduction of racism in politics, there were many different types of inequity living in European society during that time: gender-based sexism; a topic that is still an issue today, was a slow start for the suffragette movement in England, and the novel Heart of Darkness shows it: “It 's queer how out of touch with truth women are! They live in a world of their…show more content…
In the novel Heart of Darkness, Kurtz’s mistress, who remains nameless, is viewed as a leader among her people. She strikes fear in the hearts of men and has great influences over major decisions made in her village along with the power to persuade Kurtz in his venture and business dealings. However, when Marlow meets Kurtz 's African mistress for the first time, he describes her instantly as “...a wild and gorgeous apparition of a woman. “She 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, her hair was done in the shape of a helmet, she had brass leggings to the knees [...] She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate process. [...] the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her”. (Heart of Darkness. 60) Basically Marlow is saying, it is likely that Kurtz 's African mistress is not only a person, but also a true depiction of Africa and the darkness that lies within. Marlow 's vision of her supports this idea, because this native woman is dark and savage, however she is seen as "gorgeous"; furthermore, she is considered gorgeous because she is…show more content…
She has a job and honestly enjoys her work at the hospital. Her life has been filled with men making decisions for her, never having her own freedom to make her own choices. Her first husband she was actually “gifted” to and after his death she was married a second time. Now a single mother she continues her daily rituals and goes about her life, living a quiet existence until she meets and falls in love with the widower, Bosaaso. Duniya never struck fear in the hearts of men, she never craved or strived for power. She seemed to only ever want freedom for herself to make her own choices and for her country to finally be at peace. She wanted a stable life for herself and her children. Although her daughter pushed her boundaries and was rebellious at times, Duniya admired her bravery and courage when it came to making difficult choices. Duniya was a calm rational woman who never had the chance to taste power or ever feel as if she had any leadership role other than being a mother and a wife. However as the novel continues the reader gets a taste of Duniya’s strive for independence. She takes her first swimming lesson, in which she is over come with fear of drowning. Her heart is overcome with the notion that she could drown and in that moment she makes a choice. To not live by fear but to take control of her fear and use it to her advantage. Duniya stays afloat

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