Whereas most critics have focused on Marlow’s formal and thematic functions, I have approached him as a mimetic character whose thoughts, feelings, and actions can be understood in motivational terms. I have asked what Marlow is up to in telling his stories, what impact he is trying to have on his audience, and what he is trying to do for himself. As I observed in my introductory remarks, it is Conrad, of course, who creates the stories and the character who narrates them, and we cannot help asking what he is up to as well. When I speak of Conrad in this chapter, I am referring to the implied author of Lord Jim, the Conrad who can be inferred from the text. To ask what Conrad the historical person was trying to do in writing this novel is a biographical question of enormous complexity that is beyond the scope of this book.
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