The Motifs of Demonizing and Feminizing Nature in King Solomon’s Mines and Heart of Darkness An Ecocritical Analysis

Main Article Content

Ashenafi Belay Adugna
Tesfaye Gebremariam Hailu


This study examines the portrayal of nature in two colonial novels set in Africa, specifically analyzing the
recurring motifs of demonization and feminization. Drawing on ecocriticism attuned to postcolonial and
ecofeminist perspectives, it examines how King Solomon's Mines and Heart of Darkness depict the African
landscape. The study collected data from the novels through close reading, focusing on how the characters and
narrators interact with nature. Using the theoretical framework of ecocriticism, the study analyzed the use of
literary devices such as metaphors and metonymy to understand the symbolic representation of the human-nature
relationship in the novel. The study reveals how the African landscape is depicted as a labyrinthine,
savage, and feminine space that white male protagonists must conquer. This demonization and feminization, the
study argues, are rooted in the ideological justifications for imperialism and Victorian anxieties about the
unknown and the feminine. By revealing these narrative strategies and considering the specific historical
context of their production, the study contends that the narratives in these novels aimed to legitimize the
colonization of Africa and the subjugation of its people. By deconstructing these literary portrayals, the study
opens doors to exploring the environmental consciousness of counter-discourses offered by earlier African
novelists, potentially challenging the colonial gaze and its lasting effects.

Article Details

How to Cite
Belay , A., & Gebremariam , T. (2024). The Motifs of Demonizing and Feminizing Nature in King Solomon’s Mines and Heart of Darkness. The Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS), 11(1), 51-69. Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)