Lord Jim Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

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In regards to Lord Jim, how successful is Conrad in vehicling a tragic vision of life in a modern setting?

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The overall feel of Conrad's work is one built upon the tragic condition of the main character.  The predicament of Lord Jim attempting escape his past transgressions is the very essence of tragedy.  This condition is one where human freedom is constructed in vain, that no matter what an individual does, they are incapable from alleviating the pain and cursed predicament in which they are immersed.  This is the very essence of modern tragedy as it presents no transcendental or totalizing value which can make living bearable.  The only moment where this is seen is when Jim accepts his fate to die, almost as if he was living on borrowed time.  This defines frustration and a tragic existence.

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