Tag Archives: bedecked in jewels

On Marlow’s mistress

“She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high; her hair was done in the shape of a helmet; she had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her necklace bizarre things, charms, gifts of witch-men that hung about her, glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress.”

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. “Heart of Darkness”, 168. Oxford: Oxford NY, 2002.

Even though Kurtz clearly drapes her in fine jewels and wealth, his mistress still embodies the wildness and savagery of nature.