In Heart of Darkness, how are the two women outside the secretary's office symbolic?  

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The two women who are sitting outside of the secretary's are symbolic of the Fates from Greek Mythology.The three women were usually characterized as Clotho, a spinner of the thread of life; Lachesis, who was the measurer and choses the kind and length of life of a person. Finally, there is Atropos, who at death cuts through the tread of life with her scissors. As representative of the Fates, these knitting women are put in the place as judges of Marlow, able to determine his fate. The fact there are two, not three women, indicates one is missing---possibly Atropos, indicating Marlow is not near to death.

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ivory | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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The symbolic of the two women that marlow met when he first intered the trade company in Brusseles, is looke like the gaurdians of hell because they look like dead, didn't talk, knitting wool as if they knit coffins.

The two women gave Marlow and us -as readers- a negative view to what will happen next.


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