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Word Count: 408
Heart of Darkness A striking contrast in the story Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is the differences between the two women that Kurtz is involved with His intended a white woman who waits faithfully for him in Europe and his fiery African mistress help to reinforce the themes and ideas in the story The two main female characters can be seen as symbols of the contrast between light and darkness Kurtzs mistress is savage and superb wild-eyed and magnificent There is something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress She embodies the wild untamed land of Africa She is dark-skinned haughty and unwavering Her aloofness and savage nature add to the portrayal of her as evil Kurtzs intended who he leaves in Europe has fair hair pale visage and pure brow Unlike the African woman she hangs her head in sorrow She is the ideal woman who will uphold the memory of Kurtz and be faithful not passionate There is nothing evil about her only nave good-intentions and unquestioning loyalty Kurtzs mistress and his Intended also help us gain insight into his decline into madness When Marlow meets him he no longer cares for the principles of society and is cheating on his fianc with the African woman The African woman represents how Kurtz has formed an alliance with the natives Conrads own belief that women are far removed from the reality of men is reinforced through his portrayal of Kurtzs Intended She cherishes the thought that Kurtz is a man dedicated to saving the Africans She is certain that Kurtz loved her faithfully never realizing that he has an African lover I alone know how to morn him as he deserves she seems to say At the end of the tale Kurtz finds her so pathetic he attempts to lie to her about Kurtzs last words In her naivety she seems to be living in a dream world Despite their differences Kurtzs
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