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Lord Jim, a young Englishman who sailed on the Patna as an officer, is the protagonist. He finds himself guilty of deserting eight hundred men on board the Patna. He is totally obsessed by his guilt and seeks a chance to start life afresh and redeem himself. Given a job in Patusan, he soon wins the confidence of the Bugis and becomes their faithful and trusted leader, Tuan Jim. Antagonist: Jim's antagonist is his own romantic imagination with an idealized concept of his own self. He, however, does not have the strength of will to live up to his idealism. His sensitive nature makes him regret his past, and he cannot find mental peace anywhere. His guilt chases him until he dies with honor and self- esteem.
Deciding to let Brown and his men retreat against the wishes of Doramin, Jim makes a crucial mistake. He pledges his own life as security. When Brown and his men kill Dain Waris, Jim knows his own life is ruined, but he refuses to flee or kill himself. Instead, he goes immediately and faces Doramin though he knows it means certain death. He faces the gun that Doramin points at him bravely and dies with a sense of personal honor and self-esteem.
The plot ends in tragic comedy. Knowing well that he has lost the trust of Doramin and the Bugis, Jim still does not flee like a coward. Instead, he decides to go to Doramin and accept death bravely, for he is determined not to make a second mistake and live the rest of his life in guilt. He faces Doramin, standing erectly and proudly as the gun is fired. He dies with personal honor and self-esteem.