Lord Jim

Topics: Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, Novel Pages: 3 (1340 words) Published: February 11, 2008
Joseph Conrad's novel Lord Jim tells the story of the young dreamer Jim, who at a young age had a promising future and dreamt with life in the ocean. Sea stories are a current theme on Conrad's work, as he passed part of his youth in the sea. However, the importance of the sea in his career does not come from the theme it gave to his work, but to the point of view the alienation of the sea gave to the Polish writer. Lord Jim goes beyond the regular stories of seamen and goes deeper in the psych of its protagonist. Through the eyes of the narrator Marlow, the inner conflict of Jim is presented. The young man got a job on the boat Patna, which transports pilgrims, where he climbs to a higher position. After acting selfishly in an accident in the ocean, Jim abandons the group of pilgrims in the damaged boat. Along with some other officers, he claims that the boat had sunk. But Patna did not sink and all pilgrims were found alive. As a penalty for leaving them, Jim has his certification taken away. According to Ian Watt, on his essay Joseph Conrad: alienation and commitment, "what has been considered man's most precious gift, consciousness, is really, therefore, a curse" (p. 3). That is one of Lord Jim's main themes, the constant struggle with consciousness. After jumping off Patna, Jim spends his whole life living with the guilt of leaving the pilgrims behind. His consciousness curses him until the end and he dies trying to prove he is a good person. He is obsessed with the idea of regaining his honor and does not realize the fact that everyone makes mistakes and needs to ignore his flaws to move on with his life. Conrad himself said that he was a man who lost his gods, that reality was an illusion and that he lived in an unexplored universe of incertitudes. That lack of faith is clearly present in the character of Jim, who once was a young man who wanted to show his bravery and become a hero but when the opportunity came, he acted as a selfish man and worried...
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