Lord Jim

Suicide By Romanticism

Despite the popular conception that Joseph Conrad's novel, Lord Jim, is merely a fanciful tale about sea-faring adventurers, this carefully crafted novel reaches far beyond its oceanic setting. Conrad's tale is a bittersweet portrayal of the romantic idealist, which dives into the complex and oftentimes mysterious nature of the human psyche. Lord Jim tells the story of Jim, a youthful sailor who irreparably dishonors himself by abandoning his sinking ship during a crisis at sea, leaving hundreds of innocent pilgrims vulnerable to death. His cowardly act strips him of his dignity in society and he is forced to seek refuge and isolation in the tropics to avoid the anguish of his crime. Jim is given the opportunity to regain his respect when he becomes the leader and protector of a remote territory named Patusan. The novel is deeply concerned with the psychological issues surrounding Jim's abandonment and how they affect his subsequent actions. The story is narrated in third-person by a spectator named Marlow, whose account of Jim's story presents a certain degree of ambiguity and uncertainty. Because the story is not told through the eyes of the protagonist himself, there is much room for manipulation and...

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