Race and Women in Heart of Darkness

Topics: Heart of Darkness, Africa, Joseph Conrad Pages: 3 (1081 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Race and Women within Heart of Darkness
The book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is told by a man named Marlow, about his trip down the Congo River in Africa, to the people on his ship as he cruises down the Thames. Marlow tells about his travels to Africa for a job offer to be a riverboat captain; the offer is to travel into the center of Africa to search for ivory for a European trading company. Along his first stretch of journey Marlow sees a French boat firing guns senselessly into the jungle; he figures there must be savages out there. He also encounters slaves chained together at the first stop which he does not approve of very much. At this stop and the starting place Marlow notices the strict discriminations of both Africans and women. Kurtz is a European trader in Africa with the hopes of finding ivory and possibly bringing European civilization ideas to the people of Africa. Once Marlow travels to the second stop where he is supposed to pick up his steamboat he is informed that the boat has sunk and he must repair it. While Marlow is at this stop trying to fix his boat he hears a few things about Kurtz, one story he overheard really stood out about how Kurtz has asked to be left alone and has been sending back a lot of ivory by canoe. Some of the men do not like Kurtz and question his intentions because he was looking into taking the higher up positions in the company. At this point it is assumed and inferred that Kurtz has asked to be left alone because he has started to take on some of the savage ways. Marlow, the manager, a few others, and about 20 Africans start heading toward the final stop in the steamboat, as they pass tribes along the river and the savages dance, Marlow expresses his excitement and explains that even though he is European he still feels a connection with these people because they act just like his prehistoric ancestors. On the way down the river they stop at a grass hut, experience extreme fog, hear an unknown...
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