Lord Jim: Chapter 18 - Summary & Analysis

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Jim's Shift from One Job to Another


      Denver, the friend to whom Marlow recommended Jim, was an owner of a rice-mill. After six months, Marlow received a letter from his friend that he was well-satisfied with Jim and he liked him very much but, after a few days, Marlow received another letter from Denver that Jim had left his job and didn't even inform him where he was going. Then Marlow received a letter from Jim in which he is told that, because the second engineer of 'Patna' had joined the same rice-mill, Jim found it appropriate to quite the job. He expected that the engineer would disclose the whole disgraceful story of 'Patna' to everybody and cause humiliation: on his part. Jim also informed Marlow that now he had got a job with a firm of ship-candlers, by the name of "Egstrom and Blake." Jim wanted Marlow to recommend him for a permanent employment there.

      After some time, Marlow visited the place where Jim was working. He knew Egstorm who was a Scandinavian. When Marlow met Jim there, he told him (Marlow) that he was very happy with these people and also explained why he had left Denver. When Marlow, after sometime, again visited the place, he was informed by Mr. Egstorm that Jim had left the firm without saying where he was going. Marlow asked if there was any talk about Tatna' and he came to know, by Mr. Egstorm, that captain O'Brien had once said in disgust that he would hate to be in the same room with any member of Tatna'. At this, Jim got insulted and told him that he was leaving. Mr. Egstorm praised Jim for his hard and devoted work. Marlow then told that Jim was a very sensitive man and had been one of the officers of Tatna'. He might have got hurt at Brien's taunt. Marlow says to the listeners, in the Malabar room, that sense of disgrace, all the time, was haunting Jim.


      Jim was very much restless and kept on shifting from one job to another because of the fear of stigma attached to his name, though it was pursuing him from within, all the time.

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