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Word Count: 2,454
In Joseph Conrads works Lord Jim and Youth the topic of a young males development is central In their respective stories our main characters Jim and Marlow are faced with trials by sea the tales depict relatively inexperienced men of their profession and our protagonists encounter elemental struggles in a natural environment We shall see how the prospects of adventure and glory appeal to our heroes however the obstacles they face promise only self-discovery The following will discuss the character of youth as portrayed by Conrad pertaining to Jim and Marlow Firstly we will analyze Lord Jims romantic impulse perpetual ambition for glory and how his youth plays a factor in his decisions He commits questionable actions yet possesses simple motives universal and conducive to his young age Secondly Marlows simpler eager character in Youth will be interpreted in relation to Lord Jim Conrad gives both men similar ambitions only the failure of Jims situation shows how the author illustrates the theme of youth in two different lights Although we first view him to be a resolute character Jims youth has a fanciful quality about it He holds grandiose hopes and dreams and acts impulsively His initial inspiration desiring a life on the sea is just that After a course of light holiday literature his vocation for the sea had declared itself he was sent at once to a training-ship for officers of the mercantile marine Lord Jim 47 The entire course of Jims life depends crucially on the whim-like suggestion of some inconsequential reading the irony lies in that this holiday literature has a substantial effect in determining Jims role in the story The impulsiveness of Jims actions and consequent pride arising from his visions of glory are points well illustrated throughout Lord Jim The romantic notion of battling natures elements plagues Jim early in the story He saw himself saving people from sinking ships cutting away masts in a hurricane swimming through a
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