Topics for Further Study
Research what life was like as a sailor in the 1890s. What did it take to get this kind of job? Put yourself in the place of a sailor from this time period and write a mock letter home to a family member who is considering a life at sea. Provide this family member with details about the daily life of a sailor, including duties, types of food available, and any pastimes or recreational activities.
In the story, the captain and Jim are taking Moslem pilgrims to the Holy Land. Research the history of such voyages from this time period. How does Conrad's account differ? How is it similar?
Create a world map that indicates, in numbered order, all of the places that Jim has been in the world, using the text as your guide. Connect these destinations using one line. Now, research Conrad's own history on the seas, and plot these destinations on the same map. After you have drawn a line connecting these, compare Conrad's real-life journeys with those taken by Jim in the book.
In the story, Jim befriends the Bugis Malays, who are long familiar with white faces, having been besieged by them when Patusan was regarded as a treasure trove for the pepper it held. Research actual colonization stories from around this time period, and discuss how the outside influence has affected the colonized area, the surrounding area, and the world in the past century.