The Role Of Imperialism In Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness

904 Words4 Pages
The “Other” Woman: Her Multiple Roles in One Act Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” displays a cynical view on imperialism and its effects on both the imperialists and the colonized. It also explores the depth of the malignance in human interactions at the same time. One passage presents this perspective by presenting the two spiritual outlooks of Marlow and the pilgrims on board of his steamboat watching the emergence of Kurtz’s mistress after Marlowe sees him for the first time. The mystical and spiritual elements that are twisted in this passage alone confirm the degradation to animal status the Congolese natives endure. The emergence of the Congolese mistress is a clear afterimage of the of a people, who are transformed into an afterimage and caricature of independent entity they were before the imperialist’s presence. After Marlowe leaves Kurtz with the Manager and joins the Russian outside, the men and the others all witness a performance of Kurtz’s mistress as she emerges from the dark forest. Immediately, this excerpt begins with the presence of the word “curtain” that falls behind Marlowe when he leaves Kurtz, the same curtain that existed in theaters for those with the high vantage in a theater. Marlowe and the rest stand together on the steamboat while the woman is down below on the shore with the trees behind her as natural curtains, the “dark human shapes” at the forest’s edge the shadows from strategic lighting. The men
Get Access