Thesis on Feminist Approach to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Thesis on Feminist Approach to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

TURNING A BLIND EYE TO PATRIARCHY

In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, we are introduced to how the more powerful masculine world manipulates the female by asserting authority in every aspect of life. The patriarchal voice, constructing two extremes which are masculine and feminine, presents women as the irrational side of human nature. Logocentrism including ‘‘death-dealing oppositions’’ colludes with Phallocentrism and gives the ultimate power to the male perspective as if it is objective. Kurtz's intended’s attempt to learn his last words to ‘’live with'’ suggests that women are trapped in eye-blinding male dominant ideology and unconsciously become spokespersons of it. In the text, women contribute to the system with their silences, which instantly reminds of the absence of women in Western literature both literally and metaphorically as commented by Luce Irigaray. Women are defined through their relationships to males; they are there as long as the male is there. Kurtz's intended's mourning after his death is a mourning not only for the loss of Kurtz but also for the loss of her own identity. My paper will include how patriarchal manipulation goes on different levels; despite the socio-cultural differences between the intended and the mistress. I will also focus on the explicit solidarity among men in the text. I will analyze that patriarchy has created ''feminine'' out of femaleness which is actually matter of biology. Marlow's discourse is the product this ideology; after all, the male-centred narration is itself another manipulation of reality by patriarchy. Looking at the whole text on a larger scale, Africa turns out to be the female while Britain is the male in terms of asserting power over Africa, exploiting the area in her own interests. All the negative qualities pre-defined for the female are reflected upon Africa by Britain. Britian's colonial discourse with its...
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