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In Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness there are many characters that make brief appearances or never even utter a sentence The character that I believe has the most influence compared with their actual time in the novel is the gorgeous apparition of a woman that appears for only a brief moment but represents many of the stories central ideas 136 From Kurtzs corruption to the conflict between society and savagery she is able to illustrate many ideas without doing anything more than walking This woman sets her self apart from the other natives at first by stepping from the mass of dark human shapes at the gloomy border of the forest 136 The woman represents a combination of savagery and civilization Her role as a savage is indicated by a flash of barbarous ornaments while these same ornaments point her out as at least semi-civilized 136 The bronze ornaments and ornate cloths could have only been obtained through Kurtz so it points to him as a civilizing influence on her This is important because if he has an effect on her she probably has one on him also While the reader can only speculate as to why Kurtz obeys the desires of the woman we know that Kurtz does ignore her whims occasionally 137 Through the entire encounter she maintains an air of prideful superiority except for the brief pause in her measured steps when the sorrowful landseemed to look at her pensive as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul 137 She only appears very briefly and we are never given a definite reason for her pride The reader must decide whether she is prideful because of the items she has that are from a civilized society or if she is prideful because she knows that she will be able to survive in the land that kills so many after they are gone All the
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