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Lord Jim

Lord Jim

by Joseph Conrad

Exile Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

His incognito, which had as many holes as a sieve, was not meant to hide a personality but a fact. When the fact broke through the incognito he would leave suddenly the seaport where he happened to be at the time and go to another – generally further east. He kept to seaports because he was a seaman in exile from the sea [...] (1.3)

Jim's exile is as fluid as water. He flows from one place to the next whenever he meets resistance along the way. And we can't help but note the cruel irony that Jim, who has made his life and living on the water, is now cooped up on land, never able to sail again. Oh, and for more on water, check out our "Symbols" section.

Quote #2

They had now a horror of the home service, with its harder conditions, severer view of duty, and the hazard of stormy oceans. (2.6)

The notion of "home" versus "foreign" service is pretty interesting, as is the idea of willingly exiling oneself from home, which Jim does throughout the novel.

Quote #3

"'He has seen it all in the home papers by this time,' said Jim. 'I can never face the poor old chap.' I did not dare to lift my eyes at this till I heard him add, 'I could never explain. He wouldn't understand.'" (7.6)

Jim's self-imposed exile after the Patna incident is painful for him to discuss, mainly because he can never see his old man again. Of course he could if he wanted to, but what keeps him away is his own shame, his wounded pride.

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