Lord Jim: Chapter 20 - Summary & Analysis

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Stein's Interpretation of Jim as a Romantic


      Marlow went to visit Mr. Stein who greeted him cordially. When Marlow described his purpose of meeting, Stein said that he had understood the nature of Jim. He was a 'Romantic'. In Jim's case, it was the question of how to live; not to cure the temperamental malady. He recalled the statement of Hamlet from Shakespeare's play Hamlet: "To be or not to be". That means to find a proper way by which Jim could live peacefully. He further said that a man was never content with the kind, of life he is leading, he always wants to be someone else, gain some more. It is evident that, to Stein, Jim is no enigma, as he has been to the others. To him, Jim is a dreamer to the core who fails to comprehend the essence of life until he immerses himself into the destructive elements. Only then, according to Stein, can he emerge, constructively.

      After listening to Stein, Marlow told him that he (Stein) himself was most romantic. Stein wanted to discuss Jim more, that is why; he proposed Marlow to stay at night and Marlow agreed to it.


      This chapter is focussed on the account of psychological analysis given by Mr. Stein regarding Jim.

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