Analysis of King Solomon's Mines and its Undertone of Sexism
During the nineteenth century, women were viewed as inferior to men. Men also saw women as prizes as well as possessions. We can see this undertone in the book King Solomon's Mines by H.Rider Haggard. Here, the writer uses Lyn Pykett's essay "Gender, Degeneration, Renovation: Some Contexts of the Modern" as the backbone for the comparison and discussion.
As Allen Quartermain and company gets closer and closer to the diamonds, the description of the scenery is very feministic: "For the nipple of the mountain did not rise out of its exact center."(Haggard 101) As someone had pointed out that the map included in the book also has a hint of a female body, if turned upside
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Men also think that the road to the next stage of intimacy would be smooth sailing after he has broken the first barrier. During the later part of the story, when Quartermain Company are close to finding the Solomon's treasure, they encounter more difficulties. For example, they were in the middle of the war facing the wrath of Twala's army, and also witch doctress Gagool's trap, to which encounter almost cost them their lives. Again, these obstacles portray the idea of how a woman does not want to give, while the man would, even at the risk of dying, attempt to acquire it. Eventually, Allen Quartermain, Sir Henry Curtis, and Captain Good, get what they sought after. They had conquered the obstacles and attained the diamonds. One is safe to say that, men ultimately conquers women and gets what they desire according to the hidden connotation of the story. At the conclusion of the story one can add that, only men had survived. Both evil Gagool and fair Foulata perishes over the course of searching for the treasures, which, brings up the theme of survival of the fittest, where, only the strong continue to exist. "How woman or women should be represented was clearly very closely linked to the question of who represents woman/women." (Pykett 20) In Haggard's book, the way he wanted to represent women was clear and evident. Notice how he describes the women when Allen Quartermain and company first entered the village: