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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Chapter 24

Summary

The chapter begins with Marlow's description of Patusan when he visits Jim two years later. The headman of the fishing village at the river's mouth agrees to take Marlow up the river to find his friend. On the trip, he gives Marlow an account of Jim, or Tuan Jim (Lord Jim), as he is called. Jim is firmly established in his surroundings. The natives treat Europeans with veneration, and Jim is, therefore, given a lot of respect. In fact, he is loved and trusted by the natives; many of them think he has supernatural powers. Jim's coolness further impresses them. Jim relates the story of his two years in Patusan to Marlow as they sit in front of his house. Jim starts with an account of his arrival. Near the end of the long and tiring trip, he fell asleep. When he awoke, he was taken prisoner by armed men who had boarded the boat. They took him to the house of Raja Allang.

As Marlow listens to his young friend, he is impressed that Jim has done so well in Patusan. Because he is loved and respected by the natives, he has positively changed. He no longer expresses guilt or the need to chastise himself. Marlow also notices Jim's closeness to the land. In fact, Jim says that leaving Patusan would be worse than dying; he has found his place in the universe and he never intends to leave it.


Notes

The narration in this chapter is not chronological, but skips around between the past and the present. The chapter begins in the present, with Marlow's arrival in Patusan to deliver a message from Stein to Jim. When he sits on the verandah with Jim, the young man begins to tell of his past two years in Patusan through flashbacks.

It is important to notice the Mood that Conrad sets in this chapter. As the two men sit and talk, there is an eerie silence all around, and the atmosphere is mysterious. Marlow even says that Jim looks "unreal". Perhaps it is because Jim feels so content with his life in Patusan. His ego is satisfied because he feels loved and worshipped by the natives. Marlow is happy for him.

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