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IS JIM ONE AMONG US? EXPLORATION OF THE HUMAN NATURE THROUGH THE CHARACTER OF JIM IN LORD JIM

PRATEETI CHOWDHURY

RESEARCH SCHOLAR

DEPT OF ENGLISH, DIBRUGARH UNIVERSITY

 

 

Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim can be considered as one of his most significant literary outputs. While the tale of Jim struggling to survive in a foreign land in the beginning of the novel sees certain colonialist tendencies, it is through the character of Jim that Conrad is able to defend himself and his novel from the overbearing colonialist tendencies. This paper aims to look at the character of Jim beyond his communal trappings and how Conrad, by narrating the tale of Jim, is able to produce a universal character, whose actions and decisions reverberates across all peoples universally. It shall compare the character of Jim with other literary tragic heroes such as Orestes  to emphasize the universality of Jim’s fate and tragedy on one hand. On the other hand, a parallel shall be drawn between Jim and Marlow to Walt Whitman’s “I” and “Me, myself” to show that these two characters are superimpositions of one another. Thus, this paper examines the character of Jim through different character lenses to prove that Conrad’s Jim is more than an extension of his own self, but rather an archetypal representation of the human tragedy.

Keywords: Lord Jim, Conrad, universal, tragic hero, archetypal figure, British colonialism, dislocation, trauma.journal of english

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2017-08-29T08:27:53+00:00
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