free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

SYMBOLISM

Lord Jim is filled with symbolism. Since much of the book centers on good vs. evil, the characters become symbolic. The Patna crew, Holy Terror Robinson, Tungku Allang, Kassim, Sherif Ali, Cornelius, and Brown are all symbols of evil. By contrast, Marlow and Stein are symbols of goodness, representing the basic values of life. Stein stands for idealism, reflection, kindness, and practical ability. Marlow is a symbol of the penetrating mind which judges, interprets and illuminates. Jim, the central figure, is the most important symbolic figure. He symbolizes the lofty idealist and dreamer who is torn by the darkness of guilt.

Closely related to good vs. evil, light and darkness become important symbols. These accord with a color ideology, which comes out of white supremacy. Light is a source of vision, and anything that obstructs vision is a form of darkness, including fog, rain, water, jungle. White symbolizes purity, goodness and cleanliness. Jim and Jewel are always in white. Black, on the other hand, symbolizes evil, death, and dark deeds. The color black is used with special symbolic significance throughout the chapters describing the Patna affair.

Actions also take on symbolic meaning. Jim's "jumping" become the structure of the plot. His first jump from the Patna becomes a leap into darkness and fear -- into a life plagued with guilt and shame. Jim then jumps into the mystery of Patusan, equally as frightening as his jump into the dark ocean. The second jump, however, prepares him for his final jump into death, where he redeems himself.


A number of objects also have symbolic significance. The butterflies have several symbolic meanings: they symbolize the dreams of people and the zest for living. Jim is particularly associated with a butterfly; he is a man devoted to daydreaming and lofty, heroic ideals, and "a splendor unmarred by death." The moon in Patusan symbolizes the world of Jim and the fissure between the hills symbolizes Jim's split personality. The ring, given as a token of friendship and identification has a further significance. It is a bond between the three great figures of the novel: Stein, Jim, and Dain Waris.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/7/2007 10:30:56 PM