Somerset and Conrad

Biography of William Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad is English playwrights, novelists and short story writers. The stages of their creative development, achievements. The moral sense in Joseph Conrads Lord Jim. Some problems in "Of Human Bondage".

08.07.2016
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Introduction

maugham conrad writer

William Somerset Maugham (pronounced 'mawm'), CH (25 January 1874 - 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was one of the most popular authors of his era, and reputedly the highest paid of his profession during the 1930s.

Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 - August 3, 1924) was a Polish-born British novelist, one of the most important and respected writers of the late nineteenth - and early twentieth centuries. Conrad's works emerge out of the confluence of three literary currents prominent in the Europe of Conrad's time: Romanticism, particularly in the works of Polish novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz; realism, which flowered in Russia in the works of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky; and modernism, which emerged as the dominant literary aesthetic of the twentieth century.

Conrad's works draw on the symbolism of the Romantics and the psychological acuity of the realist and modernist schools. Despite these affinities, Conrad defies easy categorization. Conrad saw in Western colonialism the failure of the civilized world to fulfill its moral responsibilities. He witnessed and then documented through his fiction how the white man's burden, or the West's responsibility to the rest of the world, became clouded by selfish ambition through its quest for colonial domination.

Born and raised in Poland, Conrad spent part of his youth in France and the majority of his early life at sea; only in his mid-thirties would he settle down, in England, to start a career as a writer, writing not in Polish or French, but in English, his adopted third language. Like the Russian migr Vladamir Nabokov, Conrad is regarded as a master prose stylist among authors in the English literary canon. His knowledge of languages and cultures, gleaned not only from his European experiences but also from his decades spent as a sailor at sea, can be seen in the haunting style of his prose and the enormity of the themes which he constantly brings to the surface. His works inspired writers throughout the twentieth century.

Our work is devoted to the analysis of the novels by William Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad. The plots of there novel generally revolve around the subject of marriage and lay emphasis especially on its tremendous importance in the lives of the nineteen century women.

The aim of our work is to reveal W. Somerset Saugham's Of Human Bondage and Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim: plot structure and character analysis

The aim has defined the next tasks:

to research the biography of William Somerset Maugham;

to investigate the biography of Joseph Conrad;

- to research W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage and Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim.

The practical value is that it can be useful for anybody who is interested in life and work of the novels by William Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad.

While making our research we used the works of such linguists as Vinokur G.O., Suvorov S.P., Arnold I.V. and many others. During our work we used the works on the translation theory of such linguists as Levitskaya T.R., Fiterman A.M., Komissarov V.N., Alimov V.V., Shveytser A.D., Garbovskiy N.K., Dmitrieva L.F., Galperin I.R., Arnold I.V., Yakusheva I.V., van Deik, Kolshanskiy and others. We used also the articles from the the periodical editions.

Concerning the aim and the tasks we have used such method as a descriptive one, the method of the experience, the contextual method and the comparative method. These methods weren't used as the isolated methods, they were used in their complex to satisfy the aim and the task in the best way.

1. Some words about William Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad

1.1 Biography of William Somerset Maugham

Maugham's father was an English lawyer handling the legal affairs of the British embassy in Paris. Since French law declared that all children born on French soil could be conscripted for military service, Robert Ormond Maugham arranged for William to be born at the embassy, technically on British soil, saving him from conscription into any future French wars. His grandfather, another Robert, had also been a prominent lawyer and cofounder of the English Law Society, and it was taken for granted that William would follow in their footsteps. Events were to ensure this was not to be, but his elder brother Viscount Maugham did enjoy a distinguished legal career, and served as Lord Chancellor between 1938-39 [16, 43].

Maugham's mother Edith Mary (ne Snell) was consumptive, a condition for which the English doctors of the time prescribed childbirth. As a result, Maugham had three older brothers already enrolled in boarding school by the time he was three and he was effectively raised as an only child. Childbirth proved no cure for tuberculosis, and Edith Mary Maugham died at the age of 41, six days after the stillbirth of her final son. The death of his mother left Maugham traumatized for life, and he kept his mother's photograph by his bedside until his own death at the age of 91 in Nice, France. Two years after Maugham's mother's death, his father died of cancer. William was sent back to England to be cared for by his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. The move was catastrophic. Henry Maugham proved cold and emotionally cruel. The King's School, Canterbury, where William was a boarder during school terms, proved merely another version of purgatory, where he was teased for his bad English (French had been his first language) and his short stature, which he inherited from his father. It is at this time that Maugham developed the stammer that would stay with him all his life, although it was sporadic and subject to mood and circumstance.

Life at the vicarage was tame, and emotions were tightly circumscribed. Maugham was forbidden to lose his temper, or to make emotional displays of any kind - and he was denied the chance to see others express their own emotions. He was a quiet, private but very curious child, and this denial of the emotion of others was at least as hard on him as the denial of his own overwhelming emotions.

Maugham was miserable both at the vicarage and at school. As a result, he developed a talent for applying a wounding remark to those who displeased him. This ability is sometimes reflected in the characters that populate his writings. At sixteen, Maugham refused to continue at The King's School and his uncle allowed him to travel to Germany, where he studied literature, philosophy and German at Heidelberg University. It was during his year in Heidelberg that he met John Ellingham Brooks, an Englishman ten years his senior. On his return to England his uncle found Maugham a position in an accountant's office, but after a month Maugham gave it up and returned to Whitstable. His uncle was not pleased, and set about finding Maugham a new profession. Maugham's father and three older brothers were all distinguished lawyers and Maugham asked to be excused from the duty of following in their footsteps [16, 58].

A career in the church was rejected because a stammering minister might make the family seem ridiculous. Likewise, the civil service was rejected - not out of consideration for Maugham's own feelings or interests, but because the recent law requiring civil servants to qualify by passing an examination made Maugham's uncle conclude that the civil service was no longer a career for gentlemen. The local doctor suggested the profession of medicine and Maugham's uncle reluctantly approved this. Maugham had been writing steadily since the age of 20 and fervently intended to become an author, but because Maugham was not of age, he could not confess this to his guardian. So he spent the next five years as a medical student at King's College London.

1.2 Biography of Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad was born Jzef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (of the Nacz coat-of-arms) in Berdyczw (now Berdychiv, Ukraine) into a highly patriotic landowning noble family. Conrad's father, a writer of patriotic tragedies and a translator from French and English, was arrested by the Russian authorities in Warsaw for his activities in support of the January Uprising, and was exiled to Siberia. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1865, as did his father four years later in Krakw, leaving Conrad orphaned at the age of eleven.

He was placed in the care of his maternal uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski, in Krakw-a more cautious figure than either of his parents. Bobrowski nevertheless allowed Conrad to travel to Marseille and begin a career as a seaman at the age of 17, after the failure to secure Conrad Austro-Hungarian citizenship made him liable for a 25-year conscription into the Russian army. During these early years Conrad learned English by reading the London Times and the works of Thomas Carlyle and William Shakespeare.

In the mid-1870s Conrad joined the French merchant marines as an apprentice, and made three voyages to the West Indies. In 1878, after being wounded in what may have been a failed suicide attempt, Conrad took service in the British merchant navy, where rose through the ranks over the next 16 years [15, 27]. In 1886 he gained both his Master Mariner's certificate and British citizenship and officially changed his name to Joseph Conrad. In the same year he took command of his own ship, the Otago.

Conrad called on ports in Australia, Borneo, Malaysia, various stations throughout the Indian Ocean, South America, and the South Pacific. In 1890 he journeyed up the Congo River in west Africa, a journey that provided much material for his novella Heart of Darkness. However, the fabled East Indies particularly attracted Conrad and it became the setting of many of his stories.

During these long years at sea Conrad began to write, and many of his greatest works, including Lord Jim, Nostromo, Typhoon, The Nigger of the Narcissus, and The Secret Sharer, drew directly from his maritime travels. Elemental nature profoundly impressed Conrad, and his experience of loneliness at sea, of the corruption inherent in intimate human relations in the microcosm of ship life, forged a coherent, if bleak, vision of the world. Like Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor, Conrad's fiction explores the relentless progress of character flaws within the matrix of social relationships. Conrad expressed his deterministic view of the world in an 1897 letter: What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it. To be part of the animal kingdom under the conditions of this earth is very well-but soon as you know of your slavery, the pain, the anger, the strife. The tragedy begins. [15, 48]

Conrad left the sea at the age of 36 and settled in England, married, and devoted himself to writing. Always a keen observer of social landscapes, he absorbed the sights and scenes of London, from the docks to the slums to the drawing rooms of the literary elite, which included G.K. Chesterton, Ford Madox Ford, Henry James and H.G. Wells. Financial security was a serious problem for Conrad until the 1920s, when he began to obtain substantial serial contracts and sell in large numbers.

Conrad was an Anglophile, who regarded Britain as a land which respected individual liberties. He continued to write prolifically, although he largely wrote in obscurity until late in his career, when the publication of the novel Chance finally brought him fame and success. Ironically, scholars generally agree that the novels written after Chance's publication in 1913 are lesser works than the dark novels Conrad wrote in his earlier years. Conrad continued to write and publish up until his death from a heart attack in 1924, aged 66.

2. William Somerset Maugham's Of human bondage and Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim

2.1 The Moral Sense in Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim

Lord Jim (1900), Joseph Conrad's fourth novel, is the story of a ship which collides with a floating derelict and will doubtlessly go down at any moment during a silent black squall. The ship, old and rust-eaten, known as the Patna, is voyaging across the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Aboard are eight-hundred Muslim pilgrims who are being transported to a holy place, the promise of salvation, the reward of eternal life. Terror possesses the captain and several of his officers, who jump from the pilgrim-ship and thus wantonly abandon the sleeping passengers who are unaware of their peril. For the crew members in the safety of their life-boat, dishonor is better than death.

Beyond the immediate details and the effects of a shipwreck, A breach of this novel portrays, in the words of the story's narrator, Captain Marlow, those struggles of an individual trying to save from the fire his idea of what his moral identity should be. That individual is a young seaman, Jim, who serves as the chief mate of the Patna and who also jumps. Recurringly Jim envisions himself as always an example of devotion to duty and as unflinching as a hero in a book. But his heroic dream of saving people from sinking ships, cutting away masts in a hurricane, swimming through a surf with a line, does not square with what he really represents: one who falls from grace, and whose crime is a breach of faith with the community of mankind. Jim's aspirations and actions underline the disparity between idea and reality, or what is generally termed indissoluble contradictions of being. His is also the story of a man in search of some form of atonement once he recognizes that his avidity for adventure, and in a sense of many-sided courage, and his dream of the success of his imaginary achievements, constitute a romantic illusion.

Jim's leap from the Patna generates in him a severe moral crisis that forces him to come round to the view that only a meticulous precision of statement would bring out the true horror behind the appalling face of things. It is especially hard for Jim to confront this horror since his confidence in his own superiority seems so absolute. The Patna affair compels him in the end to peer into his deepest self and then to relinquish the charm and innocence of illusions. The Jim of the Patna undergoes the ordeal of the fiery furnace, as he is severely tested by those events of the sea that show in the light of the day the inner worth of a man, the edge of his temper, and the fibre of his stuff; that reveal the quality of his resistance and the secret truth of his pretences, not only to others but also to himself. Clearly the Patna is, for Jim, the experience both of a moment and of a lifetime.

This novel, from beginning to end, is the story of Jim; throughout the focus is on his life and character, on what he has done, or A story not done, on his crime and punishment, his failure of nerve as a seaman. It is, as well, the story of his predicament and his fate, the destiny of his soul-of high expectations and the great chance missed, of wasted opportunity and what he had failed to ob - pretences. tain, all the result of leaving his post, and abdicating his responsibility. Thus we see him in an unending moment of crisis, overburdened by the knowledge of an imminent death as he imagines the grim scene before him: He stood still looking at those recumbent bodies, a doomed man aware of his fate, surveying the silent company of the dead. They were dead! Nothing could save them!

For Jim the overwhelming question, What could I do - what?, brings the answer of Nothing! The Patna, as it ploughs the Arabian Sea (smooth and cool to the eye like a sheet of ice) on its way to the Red Sea, is close to sinking, with its engines stopped, the steam blowing off, its deep rumble making the whole night vibrate like a bass ring. Jim's imagination conjures up a dismal picture of a catastrophe that is inescapable and merciless. It is not that Jim thinks so much of saving himself as it is the tyranny of his belief that there are eight-hundred people on ship - and only seven life-boats. Conrad's storyteller, Marlow, much sympathetic to Jim's plight, discerns in him an affliction of helplessness that compounds his sense of hopelessness, making Jim incapable of confronting total shipwreck, as he envisions a ship floating head down, checked in sinking by a sheet of old iron too rotten to stand being shored up [16, 121]. But Jim is a victim not only of his imagination, but also of what Conrad calls a moral situation of enslavement. So torn and defeated is Jim, that his soul itself also seems possessed by some invisible personality, an antagonistic and inseparable partner of his existence.

Jim's acceptance of the inevitability of disaster and his belief that he could do absolutely nothing to forestall the loss of eight-hundred passengers render him helpless, robbing him of any ability to take any kind of life-saving action - I thought I might just as well stand where I was and wait. In short, in Jim we discern a disarmed man who surrenders his will to action. The gravity of Jim's situation is so overwhelming that it leaves him, his heroic aspirations notwithstanding, in a state of paralysis. His predicament, then, becomes his moral isolation and desolation, one in which Jim's desire of peace waxes stronger as hope declines and conquers the very desire of life. He gives in at precisely the point when strenuous effort and decisive actions are mandated, so as to resist unreasonable forces. His frame of mind recalls here Jean-Paul Sartre's pertinent comment, in The Age of Reason (l945), That's what existence means: draining one's own self dry without a sense of thrust.

Everything in Jim's background points to his success as a career seaman. We learn that, one of five sons, he originally came from a parsonage, from one of those abodes of piety and peace, in England; his vocation for the sea emerged early on and, for a period of two years, he served on a `training-ship for affairs of the mercantile marine.' His station was in the fore-top of a training-ship chained to her moorings. We learn that, on one occasion, in the dusk of a winter's day, a gale suddenly blew forth with a savage fury of wind and rain and tide, endangering the small craft on the shore and the ferry-boats anchored in the harbor, as well as the training-ship itself. The force of the gale made him hold his breath in awe. He stood still. It seemed to him he was whirled around. He was jostled. We learn, too, that a coaster, in search of shelter, crashed through a schooner at anchor. We see the cutter now tossing abreast the ship, hovering dangerously. Jim is on the the midst of certitude.

Point of leaping overboard to save a man overboard, but fails to do so. There is pain of conscious defeat in his eyes, as the captain shouts to Jim. `Too late, youngster. Better luck next time. This will teach you to be smart.'

This incident, related in the first chapter of the novel, serves to prepare us for Jim's actions later on the Patna, and also suggests a Danger in kind of flaw in Jim's behavior in a moment of danger. Early on in his career, then, Jim had displayed a willingness to flinch from his obligations, thus revealing a defect in the heroism about which he romanticized and which led him to creating self-serving fantasies and illusions. He felt angry with the brutal tumult of earth and sky for taking him unawares and checking unfairly a generous readiness for narrow escapes. Jim, as a seaman, refuses to admit his fear of fear, and in this he shows an inclination to escape the truth of reality by putting out of sight all the reminders of our folly, of our weakness, of our mortality. Clearly the episode on the training-ship serves both as a symptom and as a portent, underscores an inherent element of failure and disgrace in Jim's character that, in the course of the novel, he must confront if he is to transcend the dreams and illusions that beguile him, and that he must finally vanquish if he is to find his moral identity. His early experience on the training-ship makes him a marked man [16, 132]. It remains for his experience later on the Patna to make him a condemned man.

That nothing rests secure, that, in the midst of certitude, danger lurks, that peace and contentment are at the mercy of the whirl of the world, are inescapable conditions of human existence. These daunting dichotomies, as we find them depicted in Lord Jim, are forever teasing and testing humans in their life-journey Conrad sees these dichotomies in the unfolding spectacle of man and nature. To evince the enormous power of this process Conrad chooses to render time in a continuum which fills all space. Time has no end, no telos; it absorbs beginnings and endings-the past, present, and future not only in their connections but also in their disconnections.

Conrad's spatial technique is no less complex, and no less revealing, than his use of time. Hence, he employs spatial dimension so as to highlight Jim's sense of guilt in jumping from the Patna

Conrad expresses it in his Author's Note, is Jim's burden of fate. And wherever he retreats he is open to attack from some deadly snake in every bush. Time as memory and place as torment become his twin oppressors.

The specificities of the Patna episode were to come out during a well-attended Official Court of Inquiry that takes place for several days in early August 1883. Most of the details, in the form of remarks and commentaries, are supplied by Marlow in his long oral narrative, especially as these emerge from Jim's own confession to Marlow when they happen to meet after the proceedings, on the yellow portico of the Malabar House [13, 178]. Humiliated and broken, his certificate revoked, his career destroyed, Jim can never return to his home and face his father - `I could never explain. He wouldn't understand.' Again and again, in his confession, Jim shows feelings of desperation and even hysteria: Everything had betrayed him! For him it is imperative to be identified neither with the odious and fleshly German skipper, Gustav, the incarnation of everything vile and base that lurks in the world we love, nor with the chief and the second engineers, skunks who are extensions of the captain's coarseness and cowardice.

But that, in fact, Jim does jump overboard - a jump into the unknown - and in effect joins them in deserting the Patna ultimately agonizes his moral sense and impels him to scrutinize that part of his being in which the element of betrayal has entered. By such an action he feels contaminated, unclean, disgraced. How to separate himself morally from the captain and his engineers is still another cruel question to which he must find an answer. In this respect, Jim reminds us of the tragic heroes in ancient Greek drama whose encounters with destiny entail both risks and moral instruction. We begin to live, Conrad reminds us, when we have conceived life as a tragedy.

How does one face the darkness? How does one behave to the unknowable? These are other basic questions that vex Jim. He wants, of course, to answer these questions affirmatively, or at least to wrestle with them in redeeming ways, even as he appears to see himself within a contradiction-as one who can have no place in the universe once he has failed to meet the standards of his moral code. Refusing to accept any helping hand extended to him to clear out, he decides to fight this thing down, to expiate his sin, in short, to suffer penitently the agony of his failure: He had loved too well to imagine himself a glorious racehorse, and now he was condemned to toil without honour like a costermonger's donkey. Jim's innermost sufferings revolve precisely around his perception of his loss of honor, of his surrender to cowardice. The crushing shame of this perception tortures Jim, without respite. 'I had jumped-hadn't I?' he asked [Marlow], dismayed. `That's what I had to live down.'

Jim's moral sense is clearly outraged by his actions. This outrage wracks his high conception of himself, compelling him in The idyllic time to see himself outside of his reveries that Conrad also associates with the determination to lounge safely through existence. What clouds Jim's fate is that such a net of safety and certitude has no sustained reality. Within the serenity that seemed to bolster his thoughts of valorous deeds there are hidden menaces that assault his self-contentment and self-deception and abruptly awaken Jim to his actual condition and circumstances [13, 186]. In one way, it can be said, Jim is a slave of the idyllic imagination (as Irving Babbitt calls it), with its expansive appetites, chimeras, reveries, pursuit of illusion. Jim's is the story of a man who comes to discern not only the pitfalls of this imagination but also the need to free himself from its bondage. But to free himself from bondage requires of Jim painstaking effort, endurance. He must work diligently to transform chimeric, if incipient, fortitude into an active virtue as it interacts with a world that, like the Patna, can be full of reptiles - a world in which not one of us is safe.

Conrad uses Jim to indicate the moral process of recovery. Conrad delineates the paradigms of this process as these evolve in the midst of much anguish and laceration, leading to the severest scrutiny and judgment of the total human personality. Jim pays attention, in short, to the immobility of his soul; it will take much effort for him to determine where he is and what is happening to him if he is to emerge from the heart of darkness and the affliction within and around him to face what is called the limiting moment. It is, in an inherently spiritual context, a moment of repulsion when one examines the sin in oneself, and hates it. His sense of repulsion is tantamount to moral renunciation, as he embarks on the path to recovery from the romantic habit of daydreaming.

In the end Jim comes to despise his condition, acceding as he Moral does to the moral imperative. He accepts the need to see his imperative to trouble as his own, and he instinctively volunteers to answer questions regarding the Patna by appearing before the Official Court of Inquiry held in the police court of an Eastern port. (This actually marks his first encounter with Marlow, who is in attendance and who seems to be sympathetically aware of his hopeless difficulty.) He gives his testimony fully, objectively, honestly, as he faces the presiding magistrate. The physical details of Jim's appearance underscore his urge to go on talking for truth's sake, perhaps for his own sake - fair of face, big of frame, with young, gloomy eyes, he held his shoulders upright above the box while his soul writhed within him. Marlow's reaction to Jim is instinctively positive: I liked his appearance; he came from the right place; he was one of us. In striking ways, Jim is a direct contrast to the other members of the Patna gang: They were nobodies, in Marlow's words [13, 192].

It should be recalled here that Jim adamantly refused to help the others put the lifeboat clear of the ship and get it into the water for their escape. Indeed, as Jim insists to Marlow, he wanted to keep his distance from the deserters, for there was nothing in common between him and these men. Their frenzied, self-serving actions to abandon the ship and its human cargo infuriated Jim - `I loathed them. I hated them.' The scene depicting the abandonment of the Patna is one filled with the turmoil of terror, dramatizing the contrast between Jim and the other officers - between honor and dishonor, loyalty and disloyalty, in short, between aspiration and descent on the larger metaphysical map of human behavior. Jim personifies resistance to the negative as he tries to convey to Marlow the brooding rancour of his mind into the bare recital of events. Jim's excruciating moral effort not to join the others and to ignore their desperate motions is also pictured at a critical moment when he felt the Patna dangerously dipping her bows, and then lifting them gently, slowly - and ever so little.

The reality of a dangerous situation now seems to be devouring Jim, as he was once again to capitulate to the inner voice of weakness and doubt telling him to leap from the Patna. Futility hovers ominously around Jim at this last moment when death arrives in the form of a third engineer clutch[ing] at the air with raised arms, totter[ing] and collapsing]. A terrified, transfixed Jim finds himself stumbling over the legs of the dead man lying on the bridge. And from the lifeboat below three voices yelled out eerily - one bleated, another screamed, one howled - imploring the man to jump, not realizing of course that he was dead of a heart attack: Jump, George! Jump! Oh, jump. We'll catch you! Jump! Geo-o-o-orge! Oh, jump! This desperate, screeching verbal command clearly pierces Jim's internal condition of fear and terror, just as the ship again seemed to begin a slow plunge, with rain sweeping over her like a broken sea. And once again Jim is unable to sustain his refusal to betray his idea of honor. Here his body and soul are caught in the throes of still another chance missed.

The assaults of nature on Jim's outer situation are as vicious at this pivotal point of his life as are the assaults of conscience on his moral sense. These clashing outer and inner elements are clearly pushing Jim to the edge, as heroic aspiration and human frailty wrestle furiously for the possession of his soul. What happens will have permanent consequences for him, as Conrad reveals here, with astonishing power of perception [12, 93]. Here, then, we discern a process of cohesion and dissolution, when Jim's fate seems to be vibrating unspeakably as he experiences the radical pressures and tensions of his struggle to be more than what he is, or what he aspires to be. Jim, as if replacing the dead officer lying on the deck of the Patna, jumps: It had happened somehow, Conrad writes. He had landed partly on somebody and fallen across a thwart. He was now in the boat with those he loathed; [h] e had tumbled from a height he could never scale again. `I wished I could die, ' he admits to Marlow. `There was no going back. It was as if I had jumped into a well-into an everlasting deep hole.'

A cold, thick rain and a pitchy blackness weigh down the lurching boat; it was like being swept by a flood through a cavern. Crouched down in the bows, Jim fearfully discerns the Patna, just one yellow gleam of the masthead light high up and blurred like a last star ready to dissolve. And then all is black, as one of the deserters cries out shakily, `She's gone!' Those in the boat remain quiet, and a strange silence prevails all around them, blurring the sea and the sky, with nothing to see and nothing to hear. To Jim it seemed as if everything was gone, all was over. The other three shipmates in the boat mistake him for George, and when they do recognize him they are startled and curse him. The boat itself seems filled with hatred, suspicion, villainy, betrayal. We were like men walled up quick in a roomy grave, Jim confides to Marlow.

The boat itself epitomizes abject failure and alienation from mankind. Everything in it and around it mirrors Jim's schism of soul, imprisoned in the solitude of the sea. Through the varying repetition of language and images Conrad accentuates Jim's distraught inner condition, especially the shame that rages in him for being in the same boat with men who exemplify a fellowship of liars. By the time they are picked up just before sunset by the Avondale, the captain and his two officers had already made up a story that would sanction their desertion of the Patna, which in fact had not sunk and which, with its pilgrims, had been safely towed to Aden by a French gunboat, eventually to end her days in a breaking-up yard. Unlike the others, Jim would choose to face the full consequences of his actions, to face it out-alone for myself-wait for another chance-find out.

Jim's affair was destined to live on years later in the memo-Fear vs. ries and minds of men, as instanced by Marlow's chance meeting honor. in a Sydney caf with a now elderly French lieutenant who was a boarding-officer from the gunboat and remained on the Patna for thirty hours. For Marlow this meeting was a moment of vision that enables him to penetrate more deeply into the events surrounding the Patna as he discusses them with one who had been there. The French officer, at this time the third lieutenant on the flagship of the French Pacific squadron, and Marlow, now commanding a merchant vessel, thus share their recollections, from which certain key thoughts emerge, measuring and clarifying the entire affair. The two men here bring to mind a Greek chorus speaking words of wisdom that explain human suffering and tragedy. In essence it is Jim's predicament that Conrad wants to diagnose here so as to enlist the reader's understanding, even sympathy. `The fear, the fear-look you-it is always there, ' the French officer declares. And he goes on to say to Marlow-all of this with reference to Jim: `And what life may be worth when the honour is gone. I can offer no opinion-because-monsieur-I know nothing of it.'

For Conrad the task of the novelist is to illuminate Jim's case for the reader's judgment, and he does this, from diverse angles and levels, in order for the reader to consider all of the evidence, all the ambivalences, antinomies, paradoxes. If for Jim the struggle is to ferret out his true moral identity, for the reader the task is to meditate on what is presented to him and, in the end, to attain a transcendent apprehension of life in time and life in relation to val-ues.1 Jim is, to repeat, one of us, and in him we meet and see ourselves on moral grounds, so to speak.

In the final paragraph of his Author's Note, Conrad is careful to point out that the creation of Jim is not the product of coldly Jim's function perverted thinking. Nor is he a figure of Northern mists. In Jim, Conrad sees Everyman. In short, he is the creative outgrowth of what Irving Babbitt terms the high seriousness of the ethical imagination, and not of the idyllic imagination, with its distortions of human character. In other words, this is the moral imagination which imitates the universal and reveres the Permanent Things. In Jim we participate in and perceive a normative consciousness, as we become increasingly aware of Jim's purposive function in reflective prose and poetic fiction, aspiring as it does to make transcendence perceptible.2 Conrad testifies to the force and truth of the principles of a metaphysics of art when, in the concluding sentence of his Author's Note, he writes about his own chance encounter with the Jim in ourselves: One morning in the commonplace surroundings of an Eastern roadstead, I saw his form pass by-appealing-significant-under a cloud-perfectly silent. Which is as it should be. It was for me, with all the sympathy of which I was capable, to seek fit words for his meaning. He was `one of us.'

A man of indomitable resolution, Jim strikes aside any plan for evasion proffered to him by a helping hand like Marlow's. Nothing can tempt him to ignore the consequences of both his decisions and indecisions, which surround him like deceitful ghosts, austere shades. Any plan to save him from degradation, ruin, and despair he shuns, choosing instead to endure the conditions of homelessness and aloneness [12, 104]. He refuses to identify with any schemes or schemers of a morally insensitive nature. The deep idea in him is the moral sense to which he somehow hangs on and the innermost voice to which he listens.

Unfailingly Conrad reveals to us the nature of Jim's character and will in a narrative [which] moves through a devious course of identifications and distinctions, as one critic observes.3 Thus in the person of Captain Montague Brierly we have a paragon sailing-ship skipper, and an august member of the board of inquiry, whose overarching self-satisfaction and self-worth presented to Marlow and to the world itself a surface as hard as granite. Unexplainably, however, Brierly commits suicide a week after the official inquiry ended by jumping overboard, less than three days after his vessel left port on his outward passage. It seems, as Marlow believes, that something akin to fear of the immensity of his contempt for the young man [Jim] under examination, he was probably holding silent inquiry into his own case. Jim will not go the way of Brierly, whose juxtaposition to Jim, early on in the novel, serves to emphasize the young seaman's fund of inner strength needed to resist perversion of the moral sense. Unlike Brierly, Jim will not be unjust to himself by trivializing his soul.

Nor will Jim become part of any business scheme that would Jim's destiny conveniently divert him from affirming the moral sense. A farfetched and obviously disastrous business venture ([a] s good as a gold-mine), concocted by Marlow's slight acquaintance, a West Australian by the name of Chester, and his partner, Holy-Terror Robinson, further illustrates in Jim the ascendancy of his fine sensibilities, his fine feelings, his fine longings. Jim will not be identified with the unsavory Chester any more than he would be identified with the Patna gang. Marlow himself, whatever mixed feelings he may have as to Jim's weaknesses, intuits that Jim has nobler aspirations than being thrown to the dogs and in effect to slip away into the darkness with Chester. Jim's destiny may be tragic, but it is not demeaning or tawdry, which in the end sums up Marlow's beneficent trust in Jim.

In a state of disgrace, Jim was to work as a ship-chandler for various firms, but he was always on the run-to Bombay, to Calcutta, to Rangoon, to Penang, to Bangkok, to Batavia, moving Man wants from firm to firm, always under the shadow of his connection to the Patna skunks. Always, too, the paternal Marlow was striving to find opportunities for Jim. Persisting in these efforts, Marlow pays a visit to an acquaintance of his, Stein, an aging, successful merchant-adventurer who owns a large inter-island business in the Malay Archipelago with a lot of trading posts in out-of-the-way trading places for collecting produce [11, 123]. Bavarian-born Stein is, for Marlow, one of the most trustworthy men who can help to mitigate Jim's plight. A famous entomologist and a learned collector of beetles and butterflies, he lives in Samarang. A sage, as well, he ponders on the problems of human existence: Man is amazing, but he is not a masterpiece man is come where he is not wanted, where there is no place for him, he says to Marlow. He goes on to observe that man wants to be a saint, and he wants to be a devil, and even sees himself, in a dream, as a very fine fellow-so fine as he can never be. Solemnly, he makes this observation, so often quoted from Conrad's writings: A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. The way is to the destructive element submit yourself, and with the exertions of your hands and feet in the water make the deep, deep sea keep you up.

Marlow's meeting with Stein provides for a philosophical probing of some of the fundamental ideas and life-issues Conrad presents in Lord Jim. The human condition, no less than the kingdom of nature, is the province of his explorations. His musings on the mysteries of existence ultimately have the aim of enlarging our understanding of Jim's character and soul [12, 128]. These musings also have the effect of heightening Jim's struggles to find his true moral identity. Inevitably, abstraction and ambiguity are inherent elements in Stein's metaphysics, so to speak, even as his persona and physical surroundings merge to project a kind of mystery; his spacious apartment, Marlow recalls, melted into shapeless gloom like a cavern. Indeed Marlow's visit to Stein is like a visit to a medical diagnostician who possesses holistic powers of discernment - our conference resembled so much a medical consultation-Stein of learned aspect sitting in an arm-chair before his desk. Stein's ruminations, hence, have at times an oracular dimension, as his voice seemed to roll voluminous and grave-mellowed by distance. It is in this solemn atmosphere, and with subdued tones, that Stein delivers his chief pronouncement on Jim: `He is romantic-romantic, ' he repeated. `And that is very bad-very bad. Very good, too, ' he added.

The encounter with Stein assumes, almost at the mid-point of the novel, episodic significance in Jim's moral destiny, and in the final journey of a soul in torment. Stein's observations, insightful as they are, hardly penetrate the depths of Jim's soul, its conditions and circumstances, which defy rational analysis and formulaic prescriptions. The soul has its own life, along with but also beyond the outer life Stein images. It must answer to new demands, undertake new functions, face new situations-and experience new trials. The dark night of the soul is at hand, inexorably, as Jim retreats to Patusan, one of the Malay islands, known to officials in Batavia for its irregularities and aberrations. It is as if Jim had now been sent into a star of the fifth magnitude. Behind him he leaves his earthly failings. `Let him creep twenty feet underground and stay there, ' to recall Brierly's words. In Patusan, at a point of the river forty miles from the sea, Jim will relieve a Portuguese by the name of Cornelius, Stein & Co.'s manager there. It is as if Stein and Marlow had schemed to tumble him into another world, to get him out of the way; out of his own way. Disposed of, Jim thus enters spiritual exile, alone and friendless, a straggler, a hermit in the wilderness of Patusan, where all sound and all movements in the world seemed to come to an end.

The year in which Jim, now close to thirty years of age, arrives in Patusan is 1886. The political situation there is unstable - utter insecurity for life and property was the normal condition. Dirt, stench, and mud-stained natives are the conditions with which Jim must deal. In the midst of all of this rot, Jim, in white apparel, appeared like a creature not only of another kind but of another essence. In Patusan, he soon becomes known as Lord Jim (Tuan Jim), and his work gives him the certitude of rehabilitation. Patusan, as such, heralds Jim's unceasing attempt to start with a clean slate. But in Patusan, as on the Patna, Jim is in extreme peril, for he has to grapple with fiercely opposing native factions: the forces of Doramin, Stein's old friend, chief of the second power in Patusan, and those of Rajah Allang, a brutish chief, constantly locked in quarrels over trade, leading to bloody outbreaks and casualties. Jim's chief goal was to conciliate imbecile jealousies, and argue away all sorts of senseless mistrusts. Doramin and his distinguished son, Dain Waris, believe in Jim's audacious plan. But will he succeed, or will he repeat past failures? Is Chester, to recall his earlier verdict on Jim, going to be right: `He is no earthly good for anything.' And will Jim, once and for all, exorcise the unclean spirits in himself, with the decisiveness needed for atonement? These are convergent questions that badger Jim in the last three years of his life.

During the Patusan sequence, Jim attains much power and influence: He dominated the forest, the secular gloom, the old mankind. As a result of Jim's leadership, old Doramin's followers rout their sundry enemies, led not only by the Rajah but also by the vagabond Sherif Ali, an Arab half-breed whose wild men terrorized the land. Jim becomes a legend that gives him even supernatural powers. Lord Jim's word was now the one truth of every passing day. Certainly, from the standpoint of heroic feats and sheer physical courage and example, Jim was to travel a long way from Patna to Patusan. Here his fame is Immense! the seal of success upon his words, the conquered ground for the soles of his feet, the blind trust of men, the belief in himself snatched from the fire, the solitude of his achievement. If his part in the Patna affair led to the derision that pursued him in his flights to nowhere, fame and adoration now define his newly-won greatness. The tarnished first mate of the Patna in the Indian Ocean is now the illustrious Lord Jim of the forests of Patusan.

The difficult situations that Jim must now confront in Patusan demand responsible actions, which Conrad portrays with all their Concrete complexities and tensions. There is no pause in Jim's constant gestures wrestle with responsibilities, whether to the pilgrims on the Patna or the natives in Patusan. The moral pressures on him never ease, requiring of Jim concrete gestures that measure his moral worth. Incessantly he takes moral soundings of himself and of the outer life [15, 211]. The stillness and silences of the physical world have a way of accentuating Jim's inner anguish. He is profoundly aware that some floating derelict is waiting stealthily to strike at the roots of order, whether of man or of society.

In the course of relating the events in Patusan, where he was visiting Jim, Marlow speaks of Jim's love for a Eurasian girl, Jewel, who becomes his mistress. Cornelius, the awful Malacca Portu - guese, is Jewel's legal guardian, having married her late mother after her separation from the father of the girl. A mean, cowardly scoundrel, Cornelius is another repulsive beetle in Jim's life. The enemies from without, like the enemy from within, seem to pursue Jim relentlessly. In Patusan, thus, Cornelius, resentful of being replaced as Stein's representative in the trading post, hates Jim, never stops slandering him, wants him out of the way: `He knows nothing, honourable sir-nothing whatever. Who is he? What does he want here-the big thief? He is a big fool. He's no more than a little child here-like a little child-a little child.' Cornelius asks Marlow to intercede with Jim in his favor, so that he might be awarded some `moderate provision-suitable present, ' since he regarded himself as entitled to some money, in exchange for the girl. But Marlow is not fazed by Cornelius's imprecations: He couldn't possibly matter since I had made up my mind that Jim, for whom alone I cared, had at last mastered his fate. Nor is Jim himself troubled by Cornelius's unseemly presence and the possible danger he presents: It did not matter who suspected him, who trusted him, who loved him, who hated him. `I came here to set my back against the wall, and I am going to stay here, ' Jim insists to Marlow [15, 213].

The concluding movement of the novel, a kind of andante, conveys a sense of ending. Marlow's long narrative, in fact, is now coming to an end, confluent with his last talk with Jim and his own imminent departure from Patusan. The language belongs to the end-time, and is pervaded by deepening sorrow and pity, and by an implicit recognition of the implacable destiny of which we are the victims-and the tools. A poetry of lamentation takes hold of these pages, and the language is brooding, ominous, recondite. Concurrently, the figure of Cornelius weaves in and out and gives an inexpressible effect of stealthiness, of dark and secret slinking. His slow, laborious walk resembled the creeping of a repulsive beetle. We realize that Marlow and Jim will never meet again, as we witness a twilight scene of departure. Having accompanied Marlow as far as the mouth of the river, Jim now watches the schooner taking Marlow to the other world fall off and gather headway. Marlow sees Jim's figure slowly disappearing, no bigger than a child-then only a speck, a tiny white speck in a darkened world.

At the end of the novel, Jim finds himself a prisoner and ultimately a victim of treachery as he fights against invading outcasts and desperadoes who, for any price, kill living life-cutthroats led Man's moral by the Scourge of God, Gentleman Brown, a supreme incarnation of evil that Jim must confront. Conrad renders the power of evil in unalleviating ways, even as he sees man's moral poverty as an inescapable reality. Indeed, what makes Jim's fate so overpowering is that he never stops struggling against the ruthless forces of destruction that embody Conrad's vision of evil. What Jim has accomplished in Patusan by creating a more stable social community will now be subject to attack by invaders of undisguised ruthlessness who would leave Patusan strewn over with corpses and enveloped in flames. If Jim's inner world, in the first part of the novel, is in turmoil, it is the outer world, in the second part of the novel, that is collapsing into a ruin reeking with blood. What we hear in the concluding five chapters of Lord Jim is the braying voice of universal discord, crying out with a merciless conviction that, between the men of the Bugis nation living in Patusan and the white marauders, there would be no faith, no compassion, no speech, no peace.


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