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Thread: Part III Regarding WOMEN

  1. #1
    ysturgeon
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    Post Part III Regarding WOMEN

    Marlow refers to "a small sketch in oils...representing a woman, draped and blindfolded, carrying a lighted torch. The background was sombre- almost black. The movement of the woman was stately, and the effect of the torchlight on the face was sinister." We are told that it was Kurtz who painted the sketch,. Consider carefully what significant theme or idea this painted figure may symbolize Then consider why it seems appropriate for Kurtz to have painted this particular sketch.

  2. #2
    This painted figure may represent the savagery that existed in the darkness among the natives. It is appropriate that Kurtz painted this sketch because he is the only one to go so deep into the darkness and understand the lives of these savages. The fact that he portrayed this woman in a dark environment and is blindfolded could symbolize the natives' blindness to what they are forced to do. The black background and slight lighting on her face represents that the natives hide in the bushes and in the dark to avoid the Europeans and their colonization. Her face is portrayed as sinister because these natives have a strong hatred for the Europeans taking over them.

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    The painting represents the imperialism that the Europeans are bringing to the Congo. Their ideals and their views on how life should be for the natives are symbolized by the torch in the ladies' hand. The blindfold might represent the inability of the Europeans to see the horrific effect they have on the natives. It is a blindfold of greed and negligence that the imperialists choose not to remove. The fact that the torchlight makes her face look sinister could be viewed from two different angles. The first is from the natives view. The natives are dying and being used for manual labor against their will and it wouldn't be too far of a stretch that their view of the Europeans might be a little sinister. The second angle is that of the Europeans. Their true nature is being illuminated by their darkest and deepest desires. It is very fitting that Kurtz painted this sketch because all of the greed, fury, and negligence present in the painting. He is a vessel for which all of humanities imperfections have taken refuge.

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    The fact that the woman is blindfolded could either represent the idea that women are ignorant to all of the truth regarding the extraction of ivory from Africa. Woman have this pure and untainted view of what is going on and this can be seen in parts such as Marlow’s aunt praising him for going to Africa to civilize the people there. This blindness could also mean that the colonizers are blindly going into Africa, meaning they do not care about the people there or their home, and are just searching aimlessly for money and ivory. It is appropriate that Kurtz painted this, because he presents the bad in colonialism. He represents the darkness and the corruption that occurs when they take advantage of the natives in Africa.

  5. #5
    Kurtz most likely made this painting to represent his followers that are following his foot steps. The natives are extremely obedient and protective over him and don't see the other Kurtz. The blindfold represents that they are following the darkness even though they do not see the darkness in Kurtz. The lighted torch is for a sense of direction and hope. It is ironic because the woman is blindfolded so she essentially does not need a lighted torch to guide her. Kurtz understands his power and his greed and paints his people in a way that shows their dedication and confusion while following Kurtz's darkness.

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    The idea that this painting is trying to convey is that Europeans are going into Africa (the darkness) ill-prepared (blindfolded), and they are bringing civilization (lighted torch). The fact that the torchlight creates a sinister effect on the woman's face suggests that the light is not truly representative of goodness and civilization. The painting as a whole is attempting to say that European imperialism will fail. It is appropriate that Kurtz painted this sketch because he is the only European to have realized "the horror" and the failure of Europe. He is critical of imperialism, but at the same time a cruel colonizer who only cares for ivory.

  7. #7
    I felt like the woman was a symbol of the Europeans who had gone to Africa to try and civilize the natives. The torch represents European ideals that they believe brings light to Africa but in reality their view is distorted. Much like the woman's face is distorted by the torch light. The blindfold represents how Europeans can't 'see' (realize) the harm they are doing by trying to force the natives to conform to their customs and values.

  8. #8
    The painting done by Kurtz symbolizes the idea of Imperialism within the depths of Africa. We are aware of people throughout the book that adore Kurtz with every fiber in their body, almost as if he's the reason everyone is there in the first place, so it is undoubtedly noticeable that Kurtz has spread his influence across many. It seems to be appropriate that Kurtz painted this particular sketch because it symbolizes the woman that he is involved with. It displays his power over her, but also the way that she follows him without any question. The torchlight on her face may also resemble the darkness and mystery behind her relationship with Kurtz.

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    This painted figure is representative of the significant theme of Europe's blind exploration through Africa. The women, representing Europe, or the Europeans, is holding a torch which is exposing the darkness, or exploring Africa. The women is blinded just as the Europeans are blinded in their attempt to properly colonize Africa.*The black background is representative of the mystery that is Africa. The effect of the torchlight on the women's face exposes Europe's*true meaning for exploration: the sinful*desire of wealth.*It is appropriate that Kurtz painted this because he is the personification of imperialism and represents all the sinful and greedy aspects of Europe's colonization.

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    The symbolization of this painted figure contains various allegorical representations. The fact that the painting is of a women blindfolded carrying a torch illustrates how Europeans blindly imperializes Africa. Women are expressed to be oblivious to the realities of colonization, which symbolically Europe as a whole is naive about colonization. The lighted torch serves as the thought of imperialism leading the way to enlighten Africa. Also, the dark background suggests that the woman is completely lost in the dark but with the addition of the blindfold is evidenced that the surroundings and the subject itself are completely absent from the truth and reality. Kurtz also painted a "sinister" face emphasizing that there is no beauty of western imperialism and that it is morally unjust. Conrad uses Kurtz to paint this particular because Kurtz is the true representative of western imperialism and the aftermath of his progress.

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    This painting, known to be created by Kurtz, represents the European attempt to colonise Africa. In the novella, women were first perceived by Marlow, as ignorant, naive, and unaware of the entire truth. The fact that this woman was blindfolded, suggests again, that women do not know to the extent of what is happening in Africa. Europeans implied that they were going to Africa in order to civilise the country and it’s natives; which is what the torch represents. It seems appropriate that Kurtz created this image, as he is implying the corruption behind ‘his’ ivory trade, and the savagery happening within the wilderness of the Congo.

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    The principle that Conrad is referring to in this picture is the idea during the time period in which this book was written, many woman lived ignorantly and did not have a true grasp of reality. Unfortunately, during the time in which this book was written, woman were viewed to be mothers only and did not need to associate themselves with the trials and tribulations associated with the reality in which men live in. Furthermore, the painting describes a woman carrying a light while blindfolded into the unknown future, or this case, the darkness. The sinister description of the torchlight reveals how women often times did not know what they were getting to, and thus, men had to lie in order to protect women from reality. This picture is a direct representation of the relationship Kurtz had with his fiance because Kurtz was not truly honest about what he had to do on a day to day basis and often had to lie to his fiance in order for her to feel safe and protected.

  13. #13
    I think that the significant theme or idea this painted figure may symbolize is the imperialistic mission. White people like Kurtz and the manager enter the darkness in Africa; while they are the light full of civilized wisdom their motives are sinister. They do not wish to enlighten the savages, rather they wish to rob them of their precious items, and in this case it is ivory. There is a faint flicker of hope (torch) representing people like Marlow but the face is representative of the true motives of the imperialists in Africa.
    It seems appropriate for Kurt to have painted this particular sketch because he is the ultimate success story for an imperialistic company or nation; he brings in so much product at such a low cost. He ultimately becomes the sinister devil consumed with a passion for ivory, always on the lookout for more in the dark.

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    The painting that Marlow refers to represents the imperialism that the Europeans are bringing to the Congo. The torch symbolizes the native's views on how theirs lives should be. The painting is ironic because the women is blindfolded so therefor would not need a torch to guide her. The dark background of the painting suggests that the women is lost in the dark and has no idea what is truly going on around her and doesn't understand the environment that she is truly in. It seems appropriate for Kurtz to have painted this painting because he is the true vision of an imperialistic company.

  15. #15
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    In this painting the torch could symbolize the 'truth' about everything. He paints the woman holding the torch to symbolize how the 'truth' is literally right in front of women, but are still unable to see this truth. This leads to the blindfold, symbolizing how women are 'out of touch with the truth' (can't see the torch). By painting the girl physically holding the torch but not visually seeing it symbolizes how women choose the 'ignorance is bliss' path instead of opening their eyes and seeing what is right in front of them. It seems appropriate for Kurtz to have painted this because he knows this truth.

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