Heart of Darkness


Joseph Conrad

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Women Symbol Icon
Marlow believes that women exist in a world of beautiful illusions that have nothing to do with truth or the real world. In this way, women come to symbolize civilization's ability to hide its hypocrisy and darkness behind pretty ideas.

Women Quotes in Heart of Darkness

The Heart of Darkness quotes below all refer to the symbol of Women. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Colonialism Theme Icon
Part 3 Quotes
I heard a light sigh and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. 'I knew it—I was sure!' . . . She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping; she had hidden her face in her hands. It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle.
Related Characters: Marlow (speaker), Kurtz's Intended (speaker), Kurtz
Related Symbols: Women
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 71-72
Explanation and Analysis:
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Women Symbol Timeline in Heart of Darkness

The timeline below shows where the symbol Women appears in Heart of Darkness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Colonialism Theme Icon
The Hollowness of Civilization Theme Icon
The Lack of Truth Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
...missionary work, and expresses amazement to his friends on the boat how out of touch women are with the truth. (full context)
Part 3
The Hollowness of Civilization Theme Icon
The Lack of Truth Theme Icon
...ship the natives gather. Among them, next to the ship a "savage and superb" African woman paces back and forth. The Russian's comments about her imply that she was Kurtz's mistress. (full context)