Similarity in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim

3156 Words May 31st, 2011 13 Pages
Similarity in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim
Many times, after a successful novel, an author will publish another story very similar to the praised one. Joseph Conrad followed in suit with the previous statement. After the publication of Heart of Darkness in 1899, Lord Jim was released in 1900. However, according to majority of his critics, Conrad’s Lord Jim arguably outdoes Heart of Darkness to be named his best work. Few realize, though, that Lord Jim was actually started before Heart of Darkness and dropped until after the completion of it (Galens, Novels for Students 193). Joseph Conrad uses a consistent style throughout the writing of Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim to display similar central points. The uniform
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In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz finds himself a spot at the top of the white trading company for the intense amounts of ivory he brings into the company’s possession. However, in getting there, the circumstances have caused him to lose all happiness that he built up at home, including his intended wife and future plans. Jim, on the other hand, has many misfortunate events prior to his surge of power. He failed as a naval officer because he abandoned a full ship, and the incident became known as “Panta Incident” (Galens, Novels for Students 184). This single famous incident causes Jim to shy away from every other seaman job he attempts. Finally, Lord Jim escapes his incident in Patusan fitting into the native tribe. Conrad seems to display the two men in opposition. For example, Kurtz’s earlier years held a lot of promise for a prosperous life through his family and marriage setup as well as through his career possibilities. However, in his final days, Kurtz appeared to be dwelling on what his life would have been like had he not left his home to go to the Congo. In contrast, Jim starts out at the bottom of the totem pole; he messed up his chosen career through the “Panta Incident” and needs to find a way back up to the top. By the novel’s close, Jim redeemed himself by proving he could be a leader by his reigning of the natives in Patusan. The two men worked their way up with the natives until each of them held a very high power among the natives at
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