Gender roles in Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

They seemed uncanny and fateful (p26) evoking an eerie feeling (p26) in Marlow. The women did not seem real, they were more like the fates of Greek mythology who determine the destinies of humans, knitting ones life and cutting it off at the end. They symbolically knit black wool, like the black hair of the Africans who have died as a result of the companies actions. It is important to realise that these womn were not true representations of female characters, for they were not real. Their function in HOD was merely symbolic guarding the door of darkness One may percieve that they actually have power, since that seemingly determine the lives of men. But this is not true, the fact that they are symbolic actually highlights how women were not thaought of importantly but merely as a presence in a mans world.

The construction of women as being figures of almost totally undeserving of serious considerations especially in the professional working world. For the main character Marlow it was degrading for him in the first place to be forced to turn to rlatives for aid in employment, but it was the ultimate indignity to ask his aunt, a women, for help. As a man asking a women for any kind of help in patriarchal 19th ce



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