Identitetsproblemet i Joseph Conrads Lord Jim


  • Børge Kristiansen


Joseph Conrad, identity, Kierkegaard


Identity is one of the central themes of Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. The basis of the analysis is the exposure of a split of identity in the personality of Jim that has not been acknowledged by the scholarship before. Jim is split between the ‘sailor’ and the ‘hero’ he wants to be. It is demonstrated how the ‘sailor’ is dismantled throughout the different stages of the story in the first part of the novel, until he at the end of this part – in the light of the existentialism of Sartre – appears as the one who has abolished l’essence. At the arrival to Partusan Jim performs his second jump, but in contrast with the ship Patna, the decisive turning point concerning his identity as a sailor, it is argued that the second jump in a Kierkegaardian way is the expression of an existential choice of identity as a hero which he becomes in Patusan. In the penultimate step of the line of reasoning the differences between the perception of identity in Conrad and Kierkegaard are demonstrated; after this it is shown that the ending of the novel is built on these exact differences.

Keywords: Joseph Conrad, identity, Kierkegaard






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