Foreignness and the Other Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"There were only two other patients in the white men's ward: the purser of a gunboat, who had broken his leg [...] and a kind of railway contractor from a neighbouring province, afflicted by some mysterious tropical disease [...]." (2.5)
This casual mention of the "white men's ward" gives us a sense of the racial segregation in the empire, and the way it was taken as a matter of fact.
"They were attuned to the eternal peace of Eastern sky and sea. They loved short passages, good deck-chairs, large native crews, and the distinction of being white." (2.6)
This description of the "east" as somehow calm and easy, a sort of perpetual vacation-land, is a great example of "othering," where a white Englishman boils an entire part of the world down to a few convenient stereotypes. Jim will soon find out just how wrong these stereotypes are.
"Jim started, and his answer was full of defiance; but the odious and fleshy figure, as though seen for the first time in a revealing moment, fixed itself in his memory for ever as the incarnation of everything vile and base that lurks in the world we love [...]." (3.5)
The "other" described here isn't a racial other, but a socioeconomic one. This lower-class man, described in such unpleasant terms, seems to be a sort of nightmarish bogeyman in Jim's imagination.