dimarts, 5 de maig de 2009

JOSEPH CONRAD (1)


"Nostromo" is the story of a sailor named Nostromo, who left his own country, Italy, for a Latin American country, Costaguan by name, where he becomes respected by people there. From start to finish, Nostromo is so much concerned about his own reputation. All that he cares for is what other people say about him. He feels happy when people call him "man of the people." Once, Nostromo is asked by Mr. Charles Gould, the richest businessman and the owner of the San Tome Silver Mine in Costaguana, to tuck the silver ingots of the San Tome Silver Mine owned by the Goulds away in a safe place away from the grips of the Monterists, the anarchists who try to rob it. Nostromo agrees, wishing that this mission will add so much to his reputation. In time, Nostromo keeps the treasure for himself, telling the Costaguaneroes that it has sunk in the sea. In so doing, he commits several acts sof betrayal:
- he betrays the Goulds who entrusted him with their treasure;
- he betrays the Costaguaneroes who have put their trust in him;
- and he betrays himself and his own ideals of becoming a hero helping those needing his help.
Eventually, Nostromo is shot dead by someone named Old Viola.
Capitalism as it corrupts the volatile republics of South America, which were established with the demise of the Spanish Empire, forms the basis of a social criticism in Nostromo that encompasses a host of social concerns.
Conrad's first extended venture into the political world, "Nostromo" captures a spirit of political upheaval and revolution.
Conrad explores:
- the effects of counterrevolution, national policy, political corruption, and armed insurgency on the lives of:
· the wealthy hidalgos, the new economic imperialists,
· the workers and the poor,
· and the assorted Europeans caught up in the coastal town of Sulaco, famed for its San Tome silver mine in the Republic of Costaguana.
- The effects of progress in the shape of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, the reopening of the silver mine by Charles Gould against his late father's wishes.
"Nostromo" is Conrad's ultimately impressionistic novel, modelled upon his earlier experiment with form in "Lord Jim" (1900).
Here the chronology is jumbled as he introduces characters whose roles in the events of Sulaco's stormy history during revolution are gradually revealed, :
- sometimes through the actions and speech of others,
- sometimes in recollections after the fact,
- once in a letter,
- but principally by an anonymous narrator whose point of view moves between:
· a third person who could plausibly reconstruct events
· and an omniscient narrator who reveals the emotions and unspoken thoughts of the characters.
This gathering of impressions — providing knowledge of outcomes before events are described, distorting the reader's sense of time and place — reflects the act of the mind remembering events,:
- moving from incident to incident, piecing together meaning as the memory does, not chronologically.
Point of View
Nostromo is told as a third person omniscient narrative.
Scenes are crafted through the perspectives of various characters, and often the same scene is replayed through the different points of view:
- This allows the reader to get multiple perspectives on an event.
- Seeing the same event from different class perspectives reinforces the thematic message of the novel:
· The working class perspective of Giorgio contrasts with the perspective of the town leader, Charles Gould.
- By giving the reader both sides, the narrator allows the reader to develop a personal interpretation of how the characters relate to each other.
- No character or class perspective dominates the narrative, giving the reader a complete picture that reflects the interlocking class structure of the characters.