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Lord Jim

Lord Jim

by Joseph Conrad

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • "pilgrims in the valley," reference to Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan (5.1)
  • Parsees, Zoroastrian sect (5.3)
  • "sword [...] imaginative head," reference to the Greek myth of Damocles (8.15)
  • "to bind and to lose," reference to Matthew 18:18 (8.16)
  • "funny enough to make angels weep," reference to Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare (9.1)
  • "one scolding desperately in a wilderness," reference to John 1:23 (18.7)
  • "daily bread," allusion to The Lord's Prayer (19.1)
  • "So halt' ich [...]" quote from Goethe's Tasso, which reads, "I hold it thus, at last, within my hands. And in an unambiguous sense can call it mine." (20.11)
  • "my very young brother," reference to Genesis 4:9 (21.6)
  • "snatched from the fire," reference to Jude 5:23 (27.7)
  • "who once gives way [...]" quote from William Hazlitt (36.7)
  • "who toys [...]" reference to Matthew 26:52 (36.8)
  • Ramadan (43.4)

Historical References

  • Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire (2.8)
  • German Empire (5.4)
  • "Red rag," reference to the red ensign of the British Merchant Navy (5.10)
  • "occupation days," reference to the French imperial presence in North Vietnam in the 1880s (6.9)
  • "revolutionary movement of 1848," political uprising in France (20.3)
  • James I of England (22.1)
  • Bully Hayes, aka Captain William Hayes, noted pirate (38.1)
  • Ben Pease, US Naval Officer who became a pirate (38.1)
  • Spanish-American War (38.1)

Geographic References

  • Perim, island in the Red Sea (3.4)
  • Wapping, London neighborhood (3.7)
  • Suez Canal (10.24)
  • Tower Hill and the Tower of London (14.1)
  • Succadana, southwest Borneo (28.6)
  • Clapham, London district (38.1)
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