You are on page 1of 2

Joseph Conrads Technique of Narration

Joseph Conrad was born in the south Poland on 6th December,1857. After the five stories published as Tale of Unrest up read Lord Jim a tale (1900), the greatest of his early works. Lord Jim is not completely an autobiographical Conrads, his subjects of novel are about people surrounded by him. Sea, danger, depths are his parts of novel. It is right to call that this novel is psyche logical novel. It has a fascinating narrative technique. Marlow is a kind of character through flash back, The character of Jim even described in Narrative technique. Conrad was a consummate artist for whom the novel was not merely an entertainment but a serious art form. His purpose was to explore of the human situation to study and analyze the motives and springs of human action , and to convey his perceptions to the readers. His aims getting at the truth. His pursues this purpose with unflinching tenacity and his art and techniques. His language, setting, narration and characters all together from one organic whole, and contribute to the total effect. Purpose of Conrads art is to convey his own vision of life and man, realistically and convincingly. He has a highly realism about his aims, spiritual and emotional realism. He wants to render human psycho or soul, so he uses impressionistic techniques and techniques of the multiple point of view to achieve his purpose. Having little imagination he accepts things as they are. Everything he saw was interesting because it is new. He had keen psychological insight into behaviour of men. All the time there was developing in him philosophy of life which his imagination expanded into a vision. That chance offered him for the play of a creative imagination if he had it. of form and color, of sunshine and shadows. How to transfer to the minds of his readers that vision was his task. What he saw and heard were, but opportunities The technique of him has been regard as over-difficult usually he began with scene at some point well on in his story afterwards gave the previous events culminating in that scene. Lord Jim is the first complete exposition of his impressionistic technique, through which he wants to deliver the psyche of Jim, torn, baffled and to give the readers an idea of his motives and springs of actions. Characters and incidents are introduced through digressions, they throw light on some hidden recess. The action moves freely backward and forward in time and space. Impressionism lies in lord Jim for example Lord Jim is a story not formed out of a series of logically connected incidents, but a story of pieced out of a thousand sense impressions, the connection between them being not logical but emotional and psycho logical. Conrads indirect, oblique technique of narration is a difficult one and it puts great strains upon the memory and imagination of the readers. Therefore Conrad is not for those who read a novel only for entertainment, to while away a leisure hour. These difficulties further increase by Conrads use of the Marlow, a sea captain and a narrator who comes between the novelist and the readers. Marlow who enables the novelist to achieve complete objectivity. He helps him to dramatize the action and compels us/readers to see it through his eyes: it provides an intense focus. Conrads impressionism enable to tell a tale and render a soul with convincing realism and veracity (truth). He is also a master of suspense . In his novels & short stories his theme is mostly mass or individual psychology. The first four chapters are narrated by the novelist is his own person as an omniscient narrator as was the case with 19th century novelist. An account of Jims early life is given from the fifth chapter onwards , has to explore the motives of Jims action. Marlow takes on the function of narration which grows steadily broken and non-chronological. For greater part of the novel the narration is conducted orally by Marlow to a few selected friends assembled after dinner, out side his room in Malabar Hotel. Jims self-revelations to Marlow are given in the first person, as if he were actually pouring out his heart at that very moment, and so the gain in realism is enormous. In the last few chapters, the narration is not oral but is conducted through the written word. The information about the last days & death of Jim is pieced together by Marlow from what is told him by the dying Brown, Jewel and Tamb, Itam. Conrads narrative technique is non-chronological and so difficult to follow. There are constant flash backs, and in this way time past is made to react and combine with the present circumstances and also determined the future.

There are big gapes and leaps in the time sequence. Conrad ignores chronology and he concentrates on the apparently trivial or irrelevant as an index to important psychological truth, for example the incident of yellow dog at the court of inquiry reveals the guilty-complex in Jim, as well as his sensitive nature. Marlow as a narrator there are many advantages also. He is wise, intelligent and sympathetic. He is an idealist turned realist and so can view Jims case with sympathy and understanding. Marlow is the involved narrator, the reflecting and colouring radium the balanced, sane and normal individual who presents Jims case with sympathy and judgment thus ensures the maximum involvement of readers. CONCLUSION In short Lord Jim is a great triumph of narrative technique. Conrad has made a chastened (polite), controlled and balanced use of impressionistic method. It is Conrads sense of elusiveness of human nature which leads him not merely to view his subject from so many angles, but also to keep moving camera backward and forward in time so as constantly to get the subject into some new illuminating perspective. The method of him is to lie in ambush for it life. Dorothy Van comments about Conrads technique that: reflector within reflector, point of view within point of view. His technical devices represent much more than the word device suggest they represent extreme ethical scrupulosity even anxiety for the truth about a man is at once too immense and too delicate to sustain any failure of carefulness in the examiner.