Feminist Criticism on Heart of Darkness

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Jessica Figueroa Ms. Mocarski A.P. Brit. Lit. March 16, 2014 Feminist Criticism In the case of feminism in literature women are viewed only to be oppressed. In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad not is there only patriarchy but little to no mention of women characters. Women characters in Heart of Darkness are very low in number. When women are mentioned they are seen as inferior to men. It is even said that they are incapable of understanding the real world. This biased view of the female role is very undermining and upsurd. Marlow shows men are the only ones capable of facing the “Heart of Darkness.” This is proven when Marlow says, “It’s queer how out of touch with truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there had never been anything like it, and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset”(48). He offends women and uses a satirical tone to use a sexual metaphor, “we penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness”(59). Women were also kept out and silenced with no significance and contribution to the world or society, “They- the women I mean- are out of it- should be out of it. We must help them to stay in that beautiful world of their own” (90). The language itself shows how women could not even be included in the they, women were not apart of men. It allows sounds very similar to the quote mention in the earlier paragraph, Marlow truly wants to reveal how the world can and only stay right with the control of men. Women are also marginalized in Heart of Darkness the are all speechless and never say anything. Marlow’s reference to the ship as a she, shows men’s dominance over the boat and a metaphor for women. It is portrayed that men are the only one’s who are privileged enough to control the ship and in that same case women. The claim in Heart of
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