by Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim Guilt and Blame Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"He stood elevated in the witness-box, with burning cheeks in a cool lofty room [...]" (4.1)
This brief physical detail about Jim's red cheeks tells us practically all we need to know about him at the trial. He's exposed, in an unwelcoming place, and he's totally humiliated. If he's looking for redemption, he won't find it here. In the trial, he'll find nothing but shame.
"I wanted to see him overwhelmed, confounded, pierced through and through, squirming like an impaled beetle – and I was half-afraid to see it too – if you understand what I mean. Nothing more awful than to watch a man who has been found out [...]" (5.9)
Watching Jim up there on the stand is a cringeworthy moment for Marlow. He is both ashamed for Jim and embarrassed on his behalf.
"No wonder Jim's case bored him, and while I thought with something akin to fear of the immensity of his contempt for the young man under examination, he was probably holding silent inquiry into his own case. The verdict must have been unmitigated guilt, and he took the secret of the evidence with him in that leap into the sea." (6.4)
Here we get two trials for the price of one, as Brierly holds his own private inquiry as he sits in judgment of Jim. His verdict? Guilty of course. Brierly is one tough judge.