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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The geographical setting of the story is the tropical Orient and embraces a number of ports from Zamboanga in the Philippines to Aden at the entrance of the Red Sea. Conrad is known for setting his novels in places distant from and unknown to English people. The first part of the novel takes place on board the Patna, and the background is provided by the Indian Ocean. Conrad's seascapes are vivid and interesting. From the Patna, the action moves further and further eastwards. The second part of the novel is laid in Patusan, somewhere in the interior of the Malays Archipelago. Conrad makes skillful use of the background to create an English person's idea of the flavor of the tropical East. The background is provided by tropical forests and the atmosphere is damp, hot, dark and foggy, as is usual in the tropics. The time setting of the plot is 1880.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
Lord Jim (or Tuan Jim as the Malays call him) - the protagonist of the novel, who is a man with a romantic imagination and who suffers from a great sense of guilt.
Marlow - a sea captain with years of successful experience behind him. He is an important individual in his own right as Jim's friend and confidante and serves as the narrator of the novel.
Jewel - the only woman who enters Jim's life. She is a product of mixed parentage, half eastern and half western. She passionately loves Jim and watches out for his safety. In the end, she feels totally betrayed by him.
Stein - a wealthy and respected merchant, who is a keen collector of beetles and butterflies. He gives Jim an opportunity to redeem himself in Patusan.
Doramin - a fat, elderly man who is the chief of the Bugis and rules over a part of Patusan.
Dain Waris - the only son and heir of Doramin. He becomes the best friend of Jim on Patusan.
Tamb'Itam - the servant and bodyguard of Jim.
Cornelius - a rogue who is a half-caste Portuguese; he works with Brown to betray Jim.
Gentleman Brown - the outside antagonist of the novel who brings about the ultimate destruction of Jim.
Skipper of the Patna - the cause of Jim's guilt; he commands Jim to abandon the Patna.
Brierly - one of the judges at the inquiry into the Patna accident. He commits suicide a few days after the inquiry.
Dejong - the ship chandler.Chester - a scheming Australian business man who offers a job to Jim.
Robinson or Holy Terror Robinson - a smuggler of opium.
Tungku Allang - the uncle of the Sultan, the nominal ruler of Patusan.
Sherif Ali - a Muslim adventurer who has established his headquarters on the top of a hill. He is a rascal who controls the interior of Patusan.