Lord Jim: Chapter 13 - Summary & Analysis

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Stanton's Heroic Deed and Jim

Summary

      Now, Marlow tells about his meeting with one of the French officers who saved 'Patna'. He met him three years later and when he was told about Jim’s feeling of guilt and agony he was facing within, the French Officer said that fear is the root cause behind such feelings. Man might discuss and think about fear and be fearless until he does not encounter it, but when he comes across the danger, he forgets everything like bravery, insight, intellect, fearlessness etc.

      Fear drives a man to behave in such a way that he never expected anytime in his life. Even the bravest of men hesitates to perform a courageous deed. Man is a born coward and he possesses fear in himself at that moment also when he does not find anything to cause fear. After telling everything regarding the 'Patna' issue, he left Marlow who began to ponder over what the French man had said.

      Marlow says that, at the time of his meeting the Frenchman, Jim had been working as a water-clerk but he was not content because it was a tedious and glamourless job without compensation or consolation of any sort. There was a man, Bob Stanton, who was an insurance canvasser. This man did his best to save a lady, who remained on the deck of a sinking ship, from drowning. But this lady had clung to the railing on the deck and after heroic efforts to persuade her to get down into the lifeboat, they both drowned with the ship. Jim said that till now he could not forgive himself for leaving 'Patna' to peril and danger; and being a water-clerk, he hardly expected to get any chance to prove himself as a real romantic hero. Jim gave up his job because the incident of 'Patna' pursued him there also.

Analysis

      Bob Stanton is a minor figure in the novel who is measured up like a hero. He is portrayed in contrast to Jim's act of cowardice.

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