View Full Version : the complications

05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
Two of the most difficult aspects of this novel are Conrad's use of narrations within narrations and his refusal to tell the story in a linear fashion. Reading the first third of the book, it is difficult to understand who is telling the story, and what part of the story is being told at the time - to the point that it seems more like a random conglomeration of unrelated events than a story. (especially if one misses subtle cues like Marlow speaking to the dinner guests and lighting his cigar, or the nest of quotation marks that are found around 99.96% of the paragraphs.)<br> It is my belief that this is deliberate, and serves the purpose of taking the emphasis of the book off of the plot and events in Jim's life, and focusing attention on the roundness and complexity of Jim as a human character. Furthermore, by making use of well characterized narrators with whom we can relate to, Conrad causes readers to accept the judgements made about Jim by certain narrators as the readers' own judgements. This is especially evident in the case of Marlow, the principal narrator, who offers all of his thoughts and feelings about Jim to his audience alongside the facts of Jim's life. In effect, the reader is made to view Jim through the lens of Marlow's personal frame of mind.<br> This is the argument I will make in the term paper I need to write between today and tomorrow.<br><br> Does anyone have thoughts or comments they would care to share with me? I have provided my email address, and I would appreciate it if you would try to contact me with any of your insights, since I will probably not have time to come back to this forum until after my term paper is graded. (But, I check my email every day.)<br> ; )