“Haunted by the memory of a moment of lost nerve during a disastrous voyage, Jim submits to condemnation by a Court of Inquiry. In the wake of his disgrace he travels to the exotic region of Patusan, and as the agent at this remote trading post comes to be revered as ‘Tuan Jim.’ Here he finds a measure of serenity and respect within himself. However, when a gang of thieves arrives on the island, the memory of his earlier disgrace comes again to the fore, and his relationship with the people of the island is jeopardized.”
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is one of the hardest books I have ever read. That’s not to say that it is bad, just on a different level for my reading ability. But, like the books I have read recently, I learned to like the book once I understood it. Lord Jim, while a bit difficult, was one that I did understand and really liked once I dug deeper into the book.
I was surprised to see Marlow as the narrator once again, and, similar to Heart of Darkness, he jumps all over the place. But I much preferred this version of him. A calmer and wiser person who often aided Jim. He was better as a bystander giving his own version of Jim’s story. Now, Jim is a well written character, yet he never really grows as a character. After reading the novel multiple times, I liked Jim less and less. He has good intentions, but often fails to act upon them. He is a romantic and that character trait, plays a big role in the novel. He lives in his own little world, angered when he sees his own imperfections. ” A chance missed!”, he once says. And in the context of the situation, it shows his own selfish motivations. The other supporting characters play their own part and are there to help further the story or provide Jim some needed advice or in the case of the Patusan villagers, rehabilitate him.
The plot is fairly straightforward, albeit a bit confusing as Marlow jumps from time to time, often for dramatic effect. While the plot is a bit simple, the novel really is a character study focusing on Jim and his adventures as he attempts to recover from a horrid mistake for someone of his position.
Lord Jim is a fantastic novel that gets better and better as you dig deeper into the book. While the plot is a bit simple, it is much more of a character study showing what happens when you go against your own code of conduct and the aftermath.
Rating: Must Buy