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Lord Jim

Lord Jim

by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim Chapter 6 Summary

  • Back at the trial, we meet a Captain Brierly through the eyes of Marlow. Brierly was one of the three men sitting in judgment at the trial, and apparently he was quite the successful, well-regarded guy.
  • Too bad, then, that he committed suicide right after the trial concluded. His suicide is a big mystery, but Marlow, for one, has his theories. He thinks Captain B killed himself because of Jim; Jim's case hit a little too close to home for the Captain, and he realized that he, too, could behave as badly as Jim. Or that's Marlow's theory, anyway.
  • Marlow later meets up with Jones, who served with Brierly. He gives Marlow the lowdown on Brierly's suicide – what he knows about it, at least. He can't figure out why Brierly did it because Captain B was "Young, healthy, well off, no cares... I sit here sometimes thinking, thinking, till my head fairly begins to buzz. There was some reason." (6.12)
  • Anyways, let's get back to the matter at hand, shall we? (We will, however, take a moment to draw your attention to the fact that this book jumps around in time an awful lot. Bear with us; we know it can get a bit confusing.)
  • The crew of the Patna has shown up on land sans ship, which is a big old problem, and now Jim is on trial for whatever he did wrong.
  • At the trial, Brierly and Marlow have a conversation about Jim. Horrified by the publicity the trial is getting, Captain B wishes Jim would just skip town so the naval community could stop being so embarrassed.
  • At this, Marlow wanders outside, where a dude comments on a "wretched cur," referring to a stray dog. Poor Jim overhears and thinks the "cur" jab was aimed at him.
  • Uh oh. He gets mad and attacks Marlow, who calms him down and explains the misunderstanding. This Jim fellow is one awkward guy.
  • In a moment of kindness, or perhaps just curiosity, Marlow invites Jim to dine with him at his hotel, and Jim agrees. This should be interesting...

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