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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Chapter 15

Summary

Marlow finds Jim and tells him to come to his room. The dazed young sailor follows his friend. Marlow does not try and make Jim talk; instead, he lights a candle and starts writing, allowing Jim to have time to sort out his misery. During the afternoon and evening, Marlow writes and Jim stands staring out the glass door. Marlow can tell the young man is fighting with himself and at the point of tears, for his shoulders shake and he struggles to breathe. As Marlow watches him, he suffers with Jim.

Suddenly Jim pushes the glass-door so hard that it shakes. He bolts upstairs to the verandah. Marlow looks at the young man's dark outline and returns to his writing. Marlow takes a fresh sheet of paper and begins to write once more, letting Jim be. Soon the faces of Chester and Robinson appear before Marlow. He is glad that he has saved Jim from their clutches and the ignominy of being an overseer for manure digging. But Marlow now feels responsible for Jim and is worried about his future.


Notes

The storm outside is symbolic of the storm that rages within Jim, who has become a totally tragic figure. The reader identifies with his tormented state, his sense of total distress and anguish. With the cancellation of his certificate, Jim's identify has been destroyed. His life, as he has perceived it, no longer exists; his dream is no longer a possibility. As a result, he cannot even speak and remains distant and aloof from Marlow, who kindly gives the young sailor his needed space.

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