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Title: Feminine values in 'Heart of Darkness'
Authors: Jewett, Robert
Keywords: Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'Gender studiesLiterary criticismWomen's and literary studiesSymbolic Roles of woman in LiteratureWomen in Literature
Issue Date: 1987
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Robert Jewett, "Feminine values in 'Heart of Darkness' ", in: Annuario SSLM 1987, EUT - Edizioni Università Trieste, pp. 189 - 195.
Series/Report no.: SSLM - Annuario - Nuova Serie
2 (1987)
'Heart of Darkness' is told by a man to a male audience. None of the main characters are women; Marlow keeps the
women in the background and speaks slightingly of them;
to him they are an object of mild scorn and laughter. His
lack of respect for the intelligence of the whole sex is
indicated in his treatment of Kurtz' fiancee at the end
of the story. Having already spoken of himself as a man
who hates a lie, he tells her, "The last word he
pronounced was - your name". Marlow's tale is neither about women nor for their
hearing, how,then, do they fit into 'Heart of Darkness'? In
this paper I hope to show that woman, in her symbolic
way, plays at least as important a role as man. Women, i ndeed, are beh i n d al l of the events i n the
story. Conrad
very deliberately and ironically has Marlow tell his
story aboard a ship named the 'Nellie'; and that feminine
name is the first word of the story.
Type: Book Chapter
Appears in Collections:Annuario n. 2 (1987) Nuova serie

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