Why does Jim Sacrifice his own Life in Lord Jim?

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      Everyone who sacrifices his life, has some motive behind it. It is still not heard that anyone has sacrificed his life for nothing. The patriots, warriors, philanthropists sacrifice their lives to achieve something or inspired by personal interest which appears something very noble and great to superstitious and ignorant men. For example, when a man hands over his property, wealth or worldly assets to some trust or humanity at large, we must know that they do it in order to gain name and fame and to live even after death. A few people announce it through drum beats that they sacrifice their lives for the sake of humanity or for any such noble cause, but in reality, they sacrifice nothing. On the other hand, their motive behind such a commitment is to gain some material interests, for example, money, name, popularity, fame, power and publicity which everyone likes to achieve for himself. Thus we don't agree if one says that he has sacrificed his life for anyone else or that he has done it for nothing.

Lord Jim and his Death

      On the face of it, it appears that, by highlighting Jim's obsession with guilt and atonement, Conrad is trying to interpret Jim as a Christ figure, in the biblical sense. But, to a more discerning reader, who can fathom the underlying intention, it is evident that Jim's character, far from being that of a Christ figure, is permeated with irony. His fall into the everlasting deep hole" seems to be equated with Christ's "descent to hell." But, in actuality, the remorse arises not only because Jim had abandoned the eight hundred pilgrims to their fate but more because he had lost a chance for self glorification and exaltation of the self. Why else did he opt for self-preservation instead of self-sacrifice? Whether it is his "jump" from the 'Patna' or his endeavor to be the savior of the oppressed tribes of Patusan, Jim's motive is far from being altruistic. He does it to have an exalted vision of himself, to achieve romantic feats of glory. Even when he surrenders himself to Doramin, he does not do it to save anybody - the son, Dain Waris, is already dead - but merely to prove himself to himself.

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