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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Chapter 35

Summary

When it was time for Marlow to leave Patusan, Jim went down to the river and actually traveled a short way with his departing friend. When Jim deboarded, a fisherman complained to him about Raja Allang's men troubling him. Jim told Marlow that he would go and remind the Raja that things had changed in Patusan and that he needed to back off.

The two men shook hands, and Marlow boarded his schooner. Jim felt depressed because of Marlow's departure. He knew Marlow would never return to Patusan. As Marlow sailed away, he remembered what Stein had said: "In the destructive element immerse!" Jim had done exactly that. As he looked back on his friend, Jim, appeared as a tiny white speck which seemed to catch all the light left in the darkened world; and then he disappeared from view, lost forever to Marlow.


Notes

Jim is depressed at Marlow's departure, for he has been a friend to disperse the loneliness and a contact with the outside world. On the other hand, Marlow feels relieved to be leaving Patusan, where he felt stifled and afraid. He knows he will never return to the island and believes he will never see Jim again. It is important to notice how the departing Marlow views Jim as a tiny white speck. Jim is immersed in the darkness; the night will swallow him, but his light will never go out.

The gloomy Mood intensifies in this chapter, further foreshadowing the impending tragedy. Almost everything is colored black; there are black figures, a black bird, a black canoe, and black men. For Conrad, everything black or dark is evil, fearful, and ominous; by contrast, white symbolizes goodness, innocence, and purity. This philosophy, a clear statement of white supremacy, leads Conrad to believe that the whites of Europe are preferable to the dark Malaysians.

Throughout the novel, Marlow has told the story through first person narration, without entering Jim's mind. This chapter marks an end to the story from Marlow's objective point of view; the rest of the story will be told through reports and documents. This chapter also marks the last meeting of Jim and Marlow in person.

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