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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Chapter 43

Summary

Doramin finally consents to Jim's request, because he cannot stand the thought of his son leading the fight against Brown; he is afraid that Dain Waris may be wounded or killed. Jim sends his faithful servant, Tamb'Itam, to find Dain Waris and give him the news that Brown's men would be leaving peacefully and must not be attacked; the servant is amazed at this decision and feels that Jim is wrong to trust Brown. Tamb'Itam knows that Dain Waris will also be skeptical of the decision; as a result, Jim sends his ring, given to him by Stein, as a clear indication to Dain Waris that the decision is from him. Tamb'Itam must look on the river for Dain Waris, who has gone with several boats to cut off the retreat of Brown.

Jim feels the full responsibility of his challenge; he feels like the lives of all the Bugis are in his hands. As a result, Jim wants to oversee everything until Brown's retreat is complete. He personally patrols the streets to prevent any disturbance. He dispatches Cornelius with a message to Brown, telling him to leave with his men as soon as the full tide rises and not to provoke any of the armed Bugis along the river. Cornelius gives Brown only half of the message; he does not tell Brown about the armed men. Cornelius wants to see a fight, as a revenge on Jim, his enemy. He wants to see the people of Patusan lose their faith in Tuan Jim.

Cornelius tells Brown that he knows of another way to get out of the river, which will ensure their safe escape. Brown accompanies Cornelius early the next morning. Jim watches from the other side of the river as Brown gets into his boat. Brown then directs Cornelius to show him the way through the secret passage.


Notes

The story is reaching its climax. Jim is totally unaware that he is being set up by Brown and Cornelius. Jim, because of his still guilty conscience, has totally misjudged the enemy. Because he has been given a second chance to prove himself, he feels that Brown should also be given another chance. He foolishly trusts that the evil Brown will leave without incident; he even allows him to remain armed. Jim's character is shown in all its positive qualities in the chapter. He is very much concerned about the success of his plan and the safety of the Bugis. He is worried and cannot leave the matter alone, to the point that he personally patrols the area all night.

Tamb'Itam's reaction to Jim's plan foreshadows the upcoming disaster. The fact that this totally loyal servant asks for a token to present to Dain Waris as proof that his message truly comes from Jim is out of character. Stein's ring, given as the token, plays its final role. The ring, which is a token of friendship, becomes the death knell of a friend.

The fog, which covers the whole chapter, is symbolic of the ignorance of Jim -- the ignorance that Brown will betray him and the ignorance that he is making a big mistake.

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