A twenty-four-year-old British sailor with romantic aspirations, Jim is neat, often wears white, has blue eyes, and is generally popular. He is a part of the notorious Patna crew, and he spends the days after the official Inquiry trying to find a place where no one will know of the incident, and where he can begin again. Starting anew as a water-clerk, he leaps at the chance to achieve his heroic dreams in Patusan, but comes to a tragic end.
Captain of the steamship Patna and one of the men with Jim in the lifeboat, the captain is a boorish, obese man who disappears before the official Inquiry.
A British sea captain who attends the official Inquiry and becomes interested in Jim's fate, Marlow lends Jim a helping hand and narrates Jim's story.
The thirty-two-year-old commander of the Ossa, the crack ship of the Blue Star line, Brierly is a success. He is also one of the assessors of the Patna incident during the official Inquiry. He mysteriously commits suicide, causing Marlow to conjecture that the man glimpsed something less than noble about himself during Jim's testimony.
Brierly's chief mate, Jones is present when he leaps to his death in the sea. He recalls that Brierly's last words were for him to lock up the dog Rover, so that Rover wouldn't jump in after him.
One of the Patna crew, George fails to jump into the lifeboat, and he is later discovered dead of natural causes on the bridge of the steamship.
One of the Patna crew and a good friend of the German captain.
One of the Patna crew. He later appears to take on a temporary job overseeing the machinery of the rice mill owned by Marlow's friend, with whom Jim lives and keeps company.
Present on the French gunboat that discovers the Patna, he boards the Patna and remains with it for thirty hours, signaling to the gunboat as it tugs the steamer toward an English port. He is a model of honor and conduct whom Marlow meets by chance in Sydney.
A Western Australian jack-of-all-trades in search of a steamer to buy for an unsavory new business venture involving a distant, remote island, Chester dies in a hurricane at sea.
A mysterious old man wearing white who is Chester's business partner.
Egstrom & Blake
Ship-chandlers who employ Jim as their water-clerk.
Commander of the Sandra W. Granger who, along with his crew, joins Egstrom and Jim for drinks, as the conversation turns to the Patna incident. He expresses special disdain for the crew of the Patna. His comments are the cause of Jim's departure from Egstrom and Blake.
Charterers and teak merchants based in Bangkok. They employ Jim.
Alsatian hotelkeeper in Bangkok. Familiar with Marlow. Boards Jim and later tells Marlow the story of Jim's barroom brawl with "a cross-eyed Dane."
Of Stein & Co. A wealthy and well respected inter-island merchant of produce. A friend of Marlow's with a romantic and tragic history. Also a collector of insects, especially butterflies. He offers Jim the chance to assume the trade post in Patusan.
Daughter of the Dutch-Malay woman who died in Patusan, Jewel is Jim's love interest. (Her mother had been the well educated daughter of a Dutch high official, with a sad life story. Stein expresses special sympathy for her.)
A Malacca Portuguese who assumes charge of Stein's trade post in Patusan, and who seems to have embezzled from the company and left the trade post in a shambles, Cornelius holds a grudge against Jim for relieving him of the post.
Also known as Rajah Allang. One of the uncles to the Sultan, he is especially corrupt and oppressive of the people, particularly the poor. He is painted especially as a coward, while he is indulgent with women. Initially he holds Jim captive upon his arrival in Patusan, and then, as Jim's heroic stature rises, Jim becomes the center of the Rajah's hatred.
Scotsman who Stein befriended long ago, after his travels with a famed Dutch naturalist. Stein inherits M'Neil's privileged status with a native Malay queen, paving the way for his ensuing friendship with the queen's younger son and his marriage to a Malay princess. Also cited by Marlow to Jim as the source of Stein's generosity toward him.
Of the merchant class, he is chief of the second power, under the Rajah, and head of the Bugis settlement, a population that had immigrated from Celebes to Patusan. He is very old and married to a kindly "witch-like" woman for whom Jim expresses affection. He is also Mr. Stein's "war-comrade" and friend from long ago. Doramin had given Mr. Stein a silver ring as a parting gift, which Jim carries with him into Patusan as a token of good will.
The Rajah's close counselor. Plays the diplomat during the crisis of Brown's arrival in Patusan. Engages in double-dealings to destroy Jim's power.
Doramin's and his wife's only son. He was born late in their lives and is cherished. Known for fiery courage, he is described as having a "European mind" and knowing "how to fight like a white man." Doramin hopes he will become the leader of all Patusan. He becomes a close, trusted friend of Jim's and saves Jim's life at one point. This friendship is parallel to Mr. Stein's friendship with "my poor Mohammed Bonso."
Jim's servant, Tamb' Itam, is a Malay from the north, a stranger who has wandered into Patusan. He is forcibly detained by the Rajah as a paddler for a state boat. He escapes to join the Bugis settlement to serve Jim.
The leader of a faction in direct trade competition with the Bugis, headed by Doramin. Jim hatches a plan to overcome Sherif Ali's oppressive influence. The success of the plan becomes a source of power and fame for Jim.
Also known as Gentleman Brown. Described by Marlow as a "latter-day buccaneer," he is angry with the state of his sordid life. He leads sixteen outcast men to steal a schooner. He lands in Patusan for food. He encounters Jim and catalyzes the unraveling of the social order in Patusan.
Brown's best man, according to Marlow. The islander kills the two shipkeepers with a knife so that Brown can take the schooner.
Lord Jim Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Lord Jim is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.