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Analysis Of Joseph Conrad's "Typhoon"

1845 words - 8 pages

Joseph Conrad himself was a sea man. He went to sea and later joined an English merchant ship, becoming master mariner. Later on, in 1894 he began his career as a novelist. He is famous for his “Heart of Darkness”. “Typhoon” is possibly based upon one of his own experiences as a sea man. One of the most highlighting parts of this novella is the use of nautical language. Conrad is really the master of English language.
Short Summary
The story is about a ship facing the extreme weather along with its victims. Nan Shan is a ship that is carrying the captain his mates and some China men who are going back to their homeland carrying their wages in wooden chests. The story somehow describes how ...view middle of the document...

* His simple and unimaginative approach to reality equips him with the self-possession and rationality necessary to survive a life-threatening force. This notion is underscored by the fact that he loses courage when he starts to imagine the outcome of the typhoon
* Inhumane in nature, because he tagged the China men as “ cargo”

2. Captain Wilson from "Melita", the "storm-strategist".
3. Jukes, the first mate (with no first name).
4. Solomon Rout, the chief engineer, an experienced seaman
5. The second mate.
6. Sailors, steward and cook of the "Nan-Shan".
7. The coolies, hired workers from India and China.
8. Mrs. Lucy Mac Whirr, the Captain's wife.
9. Lydia Mac Whirr, the Captain's daughter.
10. Mrs. Rout, the chief engineer's wife.
11. Messrs Sigg and Son, the owners of the boat.

There are two types of conflict seen in this novella
1. Internal conflict
2. External conflict
Internal conflict can be seen in the mind of captain as he is not having that many good relations with his family. He seems to be lacking intimacy even with his own father and mother. He went on the voyage and after a certain period ,he send them letter comprising of few line that only suggested the weather conditions,
“We had a very fine weather on our passage out”
He did not even bother to ask about their health and greetings. This shows that he is having some kind of psychological conflicts in his mind. Secondly the external conflict is also present in the story and that is of man verse nature. Perhaps the external conflict is somehow throwing the light on the internal conflict in a way that it is relating to the storm in the mind of captain regarding his family conflicts.

Theme of humanity is obvious in the character of captain. When the wooden chests broke out because of the weather crisis, Chinese men started fighting over the fallen coins. Then Mac Whirr ordered Jukes to go and collect all the money so that it can b redistributed fairly again among the men. Later on, Jukes seems to be very aggressive and in that state, he brought a rifle to settle down the matter between China men. But captain opposed this idea so that nobody would get hurt.
“Social isolation”
The protagonist “Captain Mac Whirr” who is the leading character and centre of focus in the story vividly depicts the theme of social isolation as he being a rational man does not have interest in the business of persons around him. He is concerned with his limited and literal-minded approach to his work and his central focus of interest is to command his crew on ship. Mac Whirr is too much absorbed in his duties to pay attention on the social relations. As
“Mac Whirr appears to have neither friends nor social acquaintances, and the sole relationship which he has sustained, namely with his wife, is entirely nominal.”
Race discrimination
The theme of race discrimination is evident many times in the story. Captain...

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