Chester: Character Analysis in the Novel Lord Jim

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      Chester's role, in Lord Jim, is important because he provides a kind of emotional relief in the grim atmosphere of the court's verdict against Jim. Besides, he throws some light over the character of Jim.

      He was an Australian who appears in the novel when Marlow was waiting for Jim after the court's verdict. He came there and said to Marlow: "Man overboard". That means, the verdict went against Jim, and he had now lost his job. He also informed that Jim had taken the decision of the court to heart. Such a man, who took things so seriously, was no good. A man should be realistic and see things as they appeared to him.

      Chester was very talkative. He said to Marlow that he had discovered a guano island somewhere near the Walpole Reefs. The island was just like gold for money. He required a schooner to transport the large quantity of manure. Thus he was looking for a small ship of ninety horse-power. He further said that he had got the notorious Robinson as his financer who had smuggled more opium than anybody and had bagged more seals than any Johny now alive. Then he saw Robinson coming to him; he whispered into Marlow's ear that once Robinson was believed to be a cannibal because he was stranded in a place where no food was available.

      During his talk he said that, though Jim was good for nothing, yet, he wanted to make him his manager to control the laborers there, on guano island. He wanted Marlow to talk to Jim but Marlow flatly refused to offer such a job to Jim. Getting irritated and angry, he said that he would see how Marlow would help Jim.

      Chester was talking endlessly and Marlow had to put the conversation to an end. Chester seemed a very impractical man with his head in the clouds. He was thinking of making money in Quixotic manner. He was brimming and bubbling with enthusiasm in context of his project of Guano. Later in the novel, we are informed that he perished in the sea because of a gale.

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