Conrad Seeks Truth about Life in Lord Jim

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Justify this remark with reference to the story of Lord Jim: "Conrad seeks to present Before His readers a truth about life - as it emerges out of life itself"

Realistic Elements

      Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim seems to be a true picture of life. It is very true that sometimes truth looks more foreign than fiction, and thus the story of Lord Jim seems more realistic than life itself. But the question is, what are those realistic elements? Conrad's philosophy is evident from his portrayal of "truth about life". It is the truth that emerges out of life itself; it is one that is an integral part of our very existence. Jim's sease of guilt and spiritual isolation, as a result of his "jump" from the 'Patna', makes us ponder over the existentialist aspect of man's life. "Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains" rings loud and clear, in Jim's context. Jim tries to run away from his past, seeking a life of anonymity. The truth that is emphasized here is whether it is possible to completely obliterate the past as that would mean running away from oneself. Can man start a fresh, on an absolutely clean slate? Jim, as each one of us, proves to be a failure, in his endeavor to do this. Another truth that is emphasized here is in the way Stein interprets Jim, in particular, and the human race, in general. He addresses the question of "how to be." According to him the only way a man can exist is by surrendering himself, completely; to the destructive elements which, in turn, help to keep one up.

      It is true that one can exist comfortably by "hanging together." Being a social animal, man cannot live in isolation. A life of spiritual annihilation - that Jim faces-is akin to a life in hell.

      Here, Chester's assessment of Jim is quite apt and pragmatic in that he deems a man like Jim, an absolute misfit in this world. Conrad's philosophy; which is presented to us, through Marlow, Stein or Chester, compels us to ponder over what is universally true. Everything is narrated so clearly and graphically that they seem to be seen by us. They appear very much realistic and natural.

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