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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Jewel

Jewel is the only woman in Jim's life and the only female figure who is fully drawn in the novel. Jim calls her "Jewel" because she is precious to him. She is important in the novel because she throws light on important aspects of Jim's character. She is of mixed parentage, half-eastern and half-western. Jewel loves Jim passionately, with the strength of a fierce and dedicated affection. When she comes to know his life is in danger, she watches over him and tries to protect him. On more than one occasion, she saves his life. When she realizes that Jim is responsible for the death of Dain Waris, she begs him to flee. When he refuses to run, she begs him to fight Brown. When he also refuses this suggestion, she calls him a liar and says he is deserting her, like all white men do. She will never forgive him for his decision; she is not able to understand Jim's code of honor in dying and leaving her behind. After Jim's death, she goes to stay with Stein.

Brown

Brown is introduced quite late in the novel, but he is very important as the villain of the novel and the instrument of destruction for Jim. He is the son of a baronet, well-born and well- bred; but he is guilty of some heinous crime, for which he was to be severely punished. In order to escape imprisonment, he sails away in a ship, which is stolen. To obtain food and water, he decides to stop at Patusan. He then decides the island will be the perfect place for him to live in anonymity; he decides to conquer it and become its leader. On Patusan, he soon realizes that he must conquer Jim, who is loved and trusted by the natives. On first sight, he hates Jim for his youth and self-assurance; but he correctly sizes up Jim during their first meeting and realizes that Jim is also fleeing from some awful event in his past. He begins to formulate a plan to conquer the young leader. He tricks Jim and convinces him to let him leave Patusan peacefully. What Brown really plans is to attack the natives and destroy their faith in Tuan Jim. His massacre of the Bugis is brutal and cold-blooded. Brown proves that he is pitiless, without remorse or pangs of conscience.


Captain Brierly

Although Captain Brierly appears for only a short time in the novel, he is important as a comparison and contrast to Jim. He is a man of great physical and mental abilities and a highly successful officer trusted by all. He serves as one of the judges at the inquiry into the Patna accident. He is full of sympathy for Jim at the trial, but immediately after the trial he commits suicide. It comes as a surprise to everyone that someone of his mental stature and successful career could commit suicide. However, because of the story of Jim's guilt, the reader understands that it is Brierly's past life and his own fears that trigger his imagination and make him take his own life. Though Brierly appears only for a brief period, through him the novelist shows that a successful man can also suffer over guilt and try to escape life. His choice of death is contrasted with Jim's own death much later. Jim overcomes his guilt to live a productive life on Patusan, where he is loved and trusted by the natives. When he lets the natives down, Jim faces the consequences of his deed. He does not flee or kill himself; instead, with pride he presents himself to Doramin and accepts the bullet he feels that he deserves. Jim dies in personal honor and self-esteem, whereas Brierly obviously died with guilt and shame.

Doramin

Doramin is an enormously fat man who is a friend of Stein. He is the chief of the Bugis and rules over a part of Patusan. Doramin has an only son, Dain Waris, who was born late in his life and whom he idolizes. His only goal in life is to have Dain Waris become the leader of Patusan. When Jim comes to Patusan, Doramin puts complete trust in him, but he hopes he does not stay on the island for long and interrupt his own plans for his son. When Jim refuses to fight Brown, Doramin is opposed to the decision. Jim wins his support by telling him that Dain Waris will have to lead the battle, for he will not fight. Doramin cannot stand the thought of his son leading the fighting, for he fears Dain Waris may be injured or killed. He gives Jim permission to let Brown leave peacefully, without Bugi retaliation. Jim thanks him by pledging his life. When Brown attacks and kills Dain Waris, Jim has no choice. He goes unarmed and in sorrow to Doramin, knowing he will be killed. Numbed by the death of his only son, he shoots Jim in cold blood. Doramin, therefore, becomes Conrad's tool to allow poetic justice to be done to the character of Jim.

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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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