Lord Jim: Chapter 5 - Summary & Analysis

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Arrival of the Four Officers of the 'Patna'


      The 'Patna' accident creates much interest. The white officers of the ship came to the conclusion that Patna has sunk but it had been saved by a French ship.

      The captain, two engineers and Jim, all come to the seaport and here is given a brief account of their personalities. The captain resembles a ''trained baby elephant walking on hind legs." His appearance is somewhat humorous because of the brightly striped, soiled, sleeping-suit and other accessories of his dress to hide his fatness. One engineer is a "sallow-faced little chap with his arms in a sling"; and the other is tall with a grey mustache. Jim is described as "clear-limbed, clean-faced and as promising a boy as the sun ever shone on." The captain leaves everybody enraged when he was making his report. The first engineer gets hospitalized because of the high fever and delirium caused by drink. The second is already there in the hospital because of his broken hand. When Jim talks to them to know the whole story; they carelessly respond to him and he is left alone to go to the court.


      From this chapter onwards, the narration is taken up by Marlow from the Malabar Hotel. Marlow's interest in Jim is exposed to the reader. Jim seems so innocent and simple to Marlow that Marlow would have left the charge of a ship in the confident hands of Jim who is guilty of the shameful act of deserting the ship. A touch of humor is seen in the portrayal of the fat captain and two engineers.

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