Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness Women and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"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 had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul." (3.14)
Just like the Intended is a symbol of civilization, with its fires and its tea and its couches, the warrior woman is a symbol of the wilderness—elephant tusks and all.
"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." (3.15)
Is this just an individual woman who's worried about Kurtz—or is this really the wilderness, ticked off that these white men are ripping through the jungle?
"Suddenly she opened her bared arms and threw them up rigid above her head, as though in an uncontrollable desire to touch the sky, and at the same time the swift shadows darted out on the earth, swept around on the river, gathering the steamer into a shadowy embrace. A formidable silence hung over the scene." (3.15)
The warrior woman is an extension of the wilderness—a sexy one. Notice words like "desire" and "embrace" and "bared arms"? We're starting to understand why Kurtz doesn't want to leave.