Youth Summary
Joseph Conrad

Everything you need to understand or teach Youth by Joseph Conrad.

  • Youth Summary & Study Guide
  • 2 Student Essays
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Youth Summary

The main theme of Conrad's story is the initiation experience of Marlow on his first voyage to the "Eastern waters."

Since the story does not offer any complex psychological portraits (aside from the youthful Marlow), it does not develop the complexity of theme associated with many of Conrad's other works. Nevertheless, Marlow's determination to establish himself on the voyage, and the courage and tenacity he displays are attested to by his battle against the adversities of the ship.

A related theme is the growth of Marlow's independence and maturing selfconfidence. At first, he seems determined to stick to the voyage through stubbornness and an affection for the elderly captain, who despite being sixty is making his first voyage in command. Nevertheless, Marlow defers generally to the judgment of the other officers, as an inexperienced second mate should, even though he knows the captain to be somewhat insecure and...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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Youth Short Guide

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