Response questions for Joseph Conrad's *Nostromo* - Book Report/Review Example

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It is indeed amazing that the title of Conrad’s novel, Nostromo, is more in consonance with his many other novels like Lord Jim and The Secret Agent. Unlike Conrad’s other protagonists, towards which Conrad harbored a sense of aversion and hostility, Nostromo, whose name…
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Response questions for Joseph Conrad's *Nostromo*
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of the English of the Concerned 22 February Response Questions It is indeed amazing that the of Conrad’s novel, Nostromo, is more in consonance with his many other novels like Lord Jim and The Secret Agent. Unlike Conrad’s other protagonists, towards which Conrad harbored a sense of aversion and hostility, Nostromo, whose name is actually a pseudonym in a way reflects an augmenting source of irony that marks the protagonist in this novel. Conrad presents Nostromo essentially as “a man of the people” a status which imbues Nostromo with much relevance and importance in the overall plot. Right from the very first action in the plot when Nostromo saves Don Ribiera to the climax where he is killed, Conrad features actions of Nostromo in a more prominent manner. Though the etymological roots of the name Nostromo imbue it with much relevance, yet, most of the Europeans in the novel do away with them to decide on the more mundane meaning of the Italian root words “nostro uomo” or “our man”, which serves the writer’s ironic intentions by imbuing the character of Nostromo with ample ambiguity and duplicity.
2. It is indeed true that in Nostromo, Conrad has contrived the plot such that the story component inherent in the plot stands independent of what one may call the actualized text. The phrases time and again used by many salient characters merely seem to be the hypothetical aspects of what to the real readers comes out as one indivisible whole. In that context the notion of “material interests” indeed stand out as a factual aberration because the hope and positivity that varied characters imbue in the notion of “material interests” in the narrative eventually comes out as a shallow understanding of the notion of ‘human nature’ evaluated in the overall storyline. Conrad amply conveys as to how the fixed idea of “material interests” supersedes the need for communion between the human characters presented in the narrative. The whole objective is to connote as to how people possessed by fixed ideas stand vulnerable and corruptible as the narrator says, “A man haunted by a fixed idea is insane… for may he not bring the heaven down pitilessly upon a loved head (Conrad 379).”
3. The thing that needs to be understood is that Nostromo is a novel primarily contrived in an ironic mode. What the writer s tried to do is place an understandable form over the complexities and confusions that dominate a regular, un-idealized life. The ploy of moving back and forth in the plot serves the purpose of ushering in an element of fluidity and to somehow dramatize these confusions and complexities. Though the timeline in the plot may come out as being ragged and shifting, in a larger context that writer has indeed been able to bring in an element artistic relevance and order from the apparent chaos signifying the timeline. Conrad by deploying this technique in the plot configuration does try to have a tacit and indirect say in the overall experience one is trying to convey to the reader. To present a complex collection of fictional lives and the varied insight they bring in to the narrative, Conrad gives up on the regular structural frameworks poised ushering in a sense of traditional continuity in the plot.
Works Cited
Conrad, Joseph. Nostromo. New York: Dover Publications, 2002. Print. Read More
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