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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Chapter 28

Summary

After Sherif Ali fled, Raja Allang also settled down, fearing that Jim would kill him. The responsibility of re-organizing and administering the community fell on Dain Waris and Jim. In truth, Jim became the real ruler of Patusan.

Marlow continues his story and acknowledges that he made a great mistake by speaking to Doramin before leaving Patusan. Doramin expressed hope that Jim would not live in Patusan forever and that Dain Waris would ultimately become the ruler of the land. Doramin's wife wanted to know about Jim's family and his past, but Marlow did not know what to answer, causing Doramin to sense that something was wrong. Marlow, in turn, tries to tell them that Jim plans on staying in Patusan forever.

Marlow goes on to describe Jim's love affair with Jewel, the step- daughter of Cornelius, the former trading agent, who was a cunning, mean, and cowardly Portuguese man. He had ill-treated his wife before his death and he now mistreats her daughter, Jewel, by screaming and flinging mud at her. Jim, on the other hand, valued Jewel greatly and married her in a native ceremony. He defied Malay tradition and walked hand-in-hand with Jewel, rather than making her walk behind him in respect. Cornelius resented that Jim took both his job and his daughter from him.


Notes

Marlow compares Doramin to "a cunning old elephant." Earlier he had compared the fat skipper of the Patna to "a baby elephant." Both comparisons are important, for animal symbols are very rare in Conrad. Conrad is again foreshadowing Jim's future. Just as Jim was rejected by the Patna's skipper, he will also be rejected by Doramin. Hints of this are actually given in the chapter when the chief says he hopes Jim does not stay on Patusan forever, for he wants Dain Waris to become the ruler of the island. He also grows suspicious when Marlow has nothing to say of Jim's family or his past.

Marlow tells the story of Jim's love for Jewel. Her name is symbolic, for like a precious gem, Jim treasures her and calls her his own, almost like a possession. Furthermore, Marlow hears the story of Jim giving her an emerald, which Jewel hides. Jewel, like Jim, is always dressed in white, symbolizing purity. She loves him to distraction, and like Jim's servant, she is compared to a shadow that follows him everywhere.

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