Essay on Lord Jim Presentation

Submitted By lancs
Words: 788
Pages: 4



Published 1900

Set at sea outside the metropolitan cultures of the 19th and early 20th centuries

Inspired by Conrad’s transitory life and his commitment to the sea •

born in Poland as a subject of Russian imperialism and child to parents who fought against the Tsar and were exiled for it

move to France (1874) and then to Britain (1878)

in both locations he continued with his obsession of the sea working in the Merchant Navy


Relationship between Jim and Marlow and how that shapes the meaning behind the novel

The quest of “How to be”


Jumbled time sequence

Example: when (in chapters 3 to 5) the narrative jumps between drunken arguments on the Patna, the inquisition in court and the events in between.

reader has to play a part in reconstructing the chronology of the novel

part of the crisis that is life, part of the reader’s experience

Embodies the forwards and backwards movement of life — Jim moving towards and away from becoming the hero he dreams to be — connecting him to his forward ambitious future and then removing him from it as he fails to reach it

Demonstrates Conrad’s experimentation with form as the Victorian Era was disappearing and the Modern emerging

Against the realist tradition that was loyal to routine, ordered progress/development

Links to language: Uses words in new ways: Modernism’s wrestling with meaning—crisis of language; it is unreliable and illusive


Links to the unreliable nature of the main narrative

Anecdotal structure created by Marlow’s story telling

Telling a story based on personal accounts rather than facts

Story Marlow tells creates the connection between two characters that are
“held together by a community of inglorious toil and fidelity to a certain standard of conduct”

BUT Marlow acknowledges he is unreliable as he often reveals his limits to knowledge •

This bring’s the reader closer to the truth as the truth is unreliable in itself if it even exists

Another movement away from realism and Victorian belief in order


linking to the forward and backwards movements of the form, Marlow’s story telling resembles the fall and rise of man — the plight that makes up life — the self is an enigma to itself and from this confusion we can build our own understanding of life

Movement links to Conrad’s belief in opposites: i.e. the world is chaos but he still believes in order

This is evident in Jim’s journey and discovery of ‘how to be’ as he is constantly using his self crisis in order to redeem and save himself

He refuses to back down from his quest for identity and Marlow is entangled in it as not only the narrator of his story but an active participant in it

Marlow finds no redeeming qualities in Jim’s abandonment of the Patna but do his actions on the Patsuan redeem him?

Does Jim redeem himself by the end of the novel?


“I was aggrieved against him as though he had cheated me — me! — of a splendid