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Essay about Feminist Imagery in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness

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Feminist Imagery in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness Many feminist critics have used Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness to show how Marolw constructs parallels and personification between women and the inanimate jungle that he speaks of. The jungle that houses the savages and the "remarkable" Kurtz has many feminine characteristics. By the end of the novel, it is the same feminized wilderness and darkness that Marlow identifies as being the cause of Kurtz's mental and physical collapse.

In Heart of Darkness, the landscape is feminized through a rhetoric of personification. The landscape is constructed as an entity that speaks and acts, and is consequently made to appear as something which is alive. The projection of a face on the
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She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the fecund and mysterious life seemed to look at her, pensive, as though it has been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul.

She came abreast of the steamer, stood still, and faced us. Her long shadow fell to the water's edge. Her face had a tragic and fierce aspect of wild sorrow and of dumb pain mingled with the fear of some struggling, half-shaped resolve. She stood looking at us without a stir, and like the wilderness itself, with an air of brooding over an inscrutable purpose. The wilderness is figuratively embodied in the form of the native woman, and simultaneously personified as a particular type of femininity. The woman becomes a figure for the fearful consuming embrace of the wilderness and darkness which Marlow identifies as having been the cause of Kurtz's collapse, and from which he is protected only by his restraint: Suddenly she opened her bared arms and threw them up rigid above her head as though in an uncontrollable desire to
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