"Jim is not earthly good for anything": Chester remark in Lord Jim

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Chester makes a remark about Jim - "Jim is not earthly good for anything - too much in the clouds." Do you agree or not? Justify your view with examples taken from Lord Jim.


      In Lord Jim, Chester is a detestable figure who represents animal passion for the existence like that of an animal. Thus, he should not be expected to comprehend and. appreciate the spiritual elements in a man. But he also belongs to this world, as Stein. Stein is different from Chester because he possesses the spiritual elements, thus he is able to understand the romantic, imaginative and idealistic temperament of Jim. Nevertheless, he is also a pragmatic personality.

Explanation of Chester's Remarks

      Now we would explain what does Chester mean by stating that Jim is not earthly good for anything? Chester means to say that Jim cannot achieve anything in his life unless he develops a more pragmatic approach towards life. Chester perceives Jim just like what he himself is. He does not like Jim's intense consciousness to his guilt. Jim doesn't want to forgive himself for his discretion of jumping from the sinking ship at the eleventh hour when there was no way to rescue 'Patna' or its voyagers.

      Chester is a man who has no conscience except his bodily existence and self-advancement. Jim is a human being and spiritually aware of his activities. Sometimes he resembles a philosopher, godly in his thoughts, which few critics regard as egoistic, individualistic or idealistic. Stein calls him "romantic". Unlike Chester, Stein has very well analyzed Jim. He discovers the spiritual as well as gross and physical characteristics of Jim and thus, he sends Jim to Patusan where he could transform his dreams into reality. Stein is an idealist but he is firmly grounded. He is like a psychologist who has penetrating insight into the mind and soul of human beings. He is also an artist who knows very well how to make life beautiful. He understands that the only remedy for Jim is to provide him an atmosphere where he can translate his dream into reality.


      Chester is not right when he says that Jim is too much in the clouds because, being in the clouds, he is not expected to achieve anything in Patusan, to win the heart of Patusanians and defeat Sherif Ali, a tyrant chief. But he is right in so far as he says that a little pragmatism in Jim would have done him no harm.

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