What are Conrad's references to women? What role do they play in "Heart of Darkness"?

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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References to women are limited in "Heart of Darkness". The most pervasive reference is to Marlow's "Intended". She is never given a name, which is significant because it limits the female character from having an identity.

A second reference to women occurs at the beginning of the novella when Marlow arrives at the office and is greeted by two ugly older women dressed in black, knitting. The description of these women is not positive, and Marlow later remembers them in their hideousness.