Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Having had to encounter single-handed during his period of eclipse many physical dangers, he was well aware of the most dangerous element common to them all: of the crushing, paralysing sense of human littleness, which is what really defeats a human struggling with natural forces, alone, far from the eyes of his fellows.

Jim is a man living by a code of honor. His life goal is to put himself at risk in order to save another human being. Many critics believe Jim is a Messiah-like figure in this complex narrative that addresses the human struggle to do right or live honorably in a dishonorable society that does not value self-sacrifice.

Jim's main trouble is that in a very real sense he has fallen from grace, yet he is the one man struggling to live a moral live in spite of his failings. Moving away from a perceived condemning society, Jim finds himself on an island, hailed as a lord.

The general idea of the book is that the meaning of life, Jim's life in particular, is beyond human explanation.


Nihil Novum said...

I always imagine this book being read in a deep voice.

ashmitasaha said...

to me Jim is simply an incurable romantic who gave up his life for an ideal. He could not forgive himself for his momentary lapse when he jumped from the Patna and he spent the rest of his life atoning for it- in his own way...have written more about it here