Analysis: Joseph Conrad's The Lagoon

Topics: Meaning of life, Joseph Conrad, Malaysia Pages: 3 (904 words) Published: May 23, 2012
The Lagoon (Joseph Conrad)
Q.1. Is the Lagoon a short story?
Ans. Joseph Conrad's The Lagoon has a definite plot of a striking tale of human passion, of a last for life and love and the frustration of a longing heart. The plot with limited number of characters (two mainly) has perfect unity through brevity in spite of embracing two distinct incidents of different times. It has an organic structure by joining and synthesizing through the presence of white man with symbolic Malaya setting the Lagoon Conrad exploits the technique of a story within frame – story.

Q 2. What is a Lagoon? Explain the significance of the title of the short story The Lagoon. Ans. The word Lagoon (for Latin lacuna, Spanish Laguna) means a stretch of salt water parted from the sea by the low sandbank. It implies a shallow lake or pond.

The Lagoon provides like Egdon Heath in Hardy's the return of the Native a necessary and impressive backdrop o f the story that has a mysterious as well tragic appeal. The main event of Diamelen's death and Arsat's realization of the stark illusion of the world was enacted on the lagoon. The lagoon also symbolizes the life of Arsat and Diamelen who lived a life of complete isolation from the world outside. {Symbolically, the lagoon represents the present state of Arsat's mind, a state of illusion of 'a country where death was unknown' and fear born out of a selfish obsession. Diamelen's death shatters that illusion.

Q 3. Where did the men on the boat really want to spend the night? Why did they want so? Ans. The simple, superstitious, natives Malayan men on the boat really wanted to spend the night somewhere else, but not in the isolated lagoon where Arsat and Diamelen lived. They disliked Arsat as a stranger and secondly they believed that some evil spirits who dwelt in the lagoon were at beck and call of Arsat.

Q 4. "We will pass the night in Arsat's clearing "- Who is the speaker? Who are referred to here by ‘we’? What is the meaning of...
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