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MonkeyNotes-Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
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Chapter 42

Summary

Directly after the meeting, Jim goes to Doramin to say Brown has made a mistake in coming to the island and should be forgiven. He tries to persuade Doramin and the Bugis to allow Brown to safely leave Patusan. Doramin, however, thinks the invaders must be killed and refuses Jim's request. Jim says he will sacrifice his own life if Brown is spared and then harms any of the Bugis. He reminds Doramin that he loves the people of Patusan and would never betray them. Doramin still does not agree. Jim then says that he will call Dain Waris to slaughter Brown and his men; he claims, "I shall not lead" this disaster.

Brown begins to make his plans for destroying Jim and overtaking Patusan. He will burn out the natives and shoot the enemies.


Notes

The vulnerability of Jim is clearly evident in this chapter. Brown has masterfully played with Jim's guilty conscience, which is the one thing that Jim cannot handle in the book. When he arrives to meet with Brown, Jim is a picture of self-confidence and power. After their talk, Jim appears as a defeated man.

Jim goes to Doramin and tries to persuade him not to slaughter Brown, whom he totally misjudges. By refusing to side with the Bugis about Brown, Jim, in essence, sides with the invaders. Conrad believed that much of life was controlled by fate, and at this point in the story, he seems to turn Jim's fate over to destiny.

The second part of the chapter is seen through Tamb'Itam. The narrator changes here. Jim does not know what fate has in store for him. In persuading Doramin to send Dain Waris he is making another mistake, perhaps the first mistake of his life. The assent of the Malays shows the trust and love they have for him. The darkness that covers the end of the chapter is symbolic of the darkness that is covering Jim's life.

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