International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Becoming Joseph Conrad
Yang, Yu-Miao; Tien, Ching-Yi

Conrad’s novels can be read as tales of betrayal, self-punishment and redemption, and as exploration of the consequences of betrayal which leads to endless wandering. The protagonists portrayed in Conrad’s fictional world are often rootless foreigners or wounded wanderers, who find their desires hindered and their searches for identity brutally crushed in their encounters with reality. Baffled by what is thrown at them, Conrad’s heroes are “wandering between two worlds, one dead/ the other is powerless to be born.” Conrad’s ideas of wandering are no doubt grounded in his background as the son of a famous Polish patriot. Therefore, one way to approach Conrad’s treatment of subject is to recall his upbringing, especially his early years in Poland, for the tragic personal and family circumstances of this period were the most important and tortured of his life, and were to resonate throughout his career as a novelist. By drawing attention to Conrad’s background, this paper hopes to shed light on the themes and subjects that seem to have inspired Conrad’s writing and the way he approaches his topics.

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