Tamb Itam: Character Analysis in the Novel Lord Jim

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      Tamb Itam's role is very much significant. He is an instrument of poetic justice because he killed the most dangerous villain in the novel. He illustrates the theme of fidelity through his extreme devotion to Jim.

      Tamb Itam was a Malay, much concerned about Jim's safety. He followed Jim like a shadow, kept constant watch over Jim. Marlow had observed him as being quite vigilant, walking noiselessly. He did not talk much, which is why, there was no danger of blurting out Jim's secrets.!

      As far as lamb's past life is concerned, we are just told that he was forcibly detained by Rajah Allang to serve as a boatman but he had managed to get away from his duty and took refuge among the Bugis community.

      He played an important role in delivering the message to Dain Waris that he had been prevented by Jim to attack Brown and his followers. When, unexpectedly, Brown made an attack on Dain Waris and his party, Tamb Itam was about to be killed but he saved himself by falling on the ground. When the firing stopped, he saw Cornelius and, immediately, realized his treacherous role in the attack. He ran after him and stabbed him to death.

      Thereafter, he rushed to explain everything to Jim and showed his extreme devotion once again to his master when he advised him not to get out of the house because all the men had turned hostile towards him because of Dain Waris's death. Iamb Itam suggested Jim to escape. Thus, he remained faithful throughout the novel, from the point of his appearance till the end.

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