Lord Jim

Lord Jim Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What does the young woman Jewel represent in Lord Jim? Discuss the myth surrounding her name, as well as its relation to the "Eastern bride" of opportunity.

  2. 2

    What is the significance of Marlow's statement, "He is one of us"? Who does the "us" refer to? To what degree is Jim representative of the human condition, of Westerners, etc.?

  3. 3

    "In no other kind of life is the illusion more wide of reality--in no other is the beginning all illusion" (99). Comment on this quotation. What kind of life is Marlow referring to? How does romanticism navigate between illusions and realities? In Jim's case, what is illusion and what is reality, and how does Jim mature?

  4. 4

    Is Jim's fate at the end a "logical" conclusion to his story? How does all the evidence of his character make his final choice understandable?

  5. 5

    Some of the minor characters in the novel--Brierly, Stein, and Brown in particular--reflect significant themes in the novel or in Jim's story. Choose one and analyze the significance of his presence in the novel.

  6. 6

    What do Stein's butterflies symbolize?

  7. 7

    How does Conrad problematize the relationship between "facts" and "experience"--for example, as illustrated by the official Inquiry into the Patna incident?

  8. 8

    Is Jim a courageous man? Does his courage change throughout the novel?

  9. 9

    Discuss the parallels between Stein and Jim. How do their paths converge and diverge? Why does Conrad link them together?

  10. 10

    Why does Jim give Brown "the clear road"? What is the signficance of their conversation?

  11. 11

    How do Jim's failed and successful "leaps" function in the novel?