Lord Jim

Lord Jim employs multiple narrative perspective

Lord Jim employs multiple narrative perspective. Does this influence your impression of Jim as a character? Please illustrate by citing relevant passages from the text.

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"Lord Jim is remarkable for its elaborately woven scheme of narration, which is similar in many ways to that of The Good Soldier, a novel written by Conrad's friend and collaborator Ford Madox Ford. The narrative comes to the reader primarily through Marlow, a world-weary sea captain who identifies deeply with Jim's fallibilities. Marlow has complete control over the story, though, and he exercises his power in increasingly complicated ways. Time is broken up: in a single paragraph of narration, Marlow will reference the past, the present, and the future. By manipulating the flow of the narrative, Marlow is able to create juxtapositions and contrasts that highlight particular aspects of the story. He is a master at withholding information: Jim's final fate becomes a matter for discussion eight chapters before the reader learns what that fate actually is. This creates suspense, of course, but it also allows Marlow to shape the reader's eventual reaction when he or she does receive the relevant information. Marlow also offers the reader narrative blocks from a variety of sources, of differing degrees of reliability. Much of the story has come from Jim, but significant sections have come from other characters or have been pieced together by Marlow based on inference. Information is conveyed by letters, midnight conversations, deathbed interviews, forwarded manuscripts, and, most significantly, in the form of a tale told to an audience of listeners." (1)

No, it doesn't influence my impression of Lord Jim at all, I think that even without the perspectives and use of multiple narration, the author has neatly ties Jim's persona up in a way that we see him for who and what he is from the beginning. As the story's hero he's a completely likable character. A reader and dreamer, who goes onto follow his dreams. He wants to be a hero, and he misses his chance.......... why? Because he was smart enough to get off the sinking ship with everyone else. This costs him his place as an officer of course, but hey........ he's still alive, and we feel sorry for him rather than worrying about the demotion.

His journey takes him from job to job......... he falls in love, and eventually becomes the hero he wanted to be when he defeats a local bandit. I don't have this book at home with me or I'd cite the specific passages, but gradesaver has a fantastic study guide for this novel, and I'll bring the book home after Christmas break.


(1) http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/lordjim/section13.rhtml (2) http://www.gradesaver.com/lord-jim/study-guide/