Jim as a Mimetic Character

  • Bernard J. Paris


After Marlow’s description of his meeting with Stein, the remainder of the novel consists of his accounts of Jim’s adventures in Patusan. First, he tells his listeners of his visit to Patusan two years after Jim’s arrival; then, he sends a written account of subsequent events to the privileged man. His oral account celebrates Jim’s success, while the written one describes Jim’s encounter with Brown and the ensuing catastrophe. Both accounts are marked by inner conflict and ambivalence. Although he proclaims to his auditors that Jim has “achieved greatness” (ch. 21), he still has doubts about his soundness and the value of his accomplishments in a place so remote from Western civilization. In reporting Jim’s downfall, he wonders if Jim has not been somehow triumphant, despite Jewel’s sense of betrayal and the collapse of the order Jim has created in Patusan.


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© Bernard J. Paris 2005

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  • Bernard J. Paris

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