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Youth By Joseph Conrad

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This analysis is based on the short story "Youth" by Joseph Conrad, in which involves the explanation of youth in relation to life. The story presents the theme that youth is somehow disillusioning. During the plot progression, it shows the perceptions and thinking of the main character, Marlow, who is a young ship's officer fascinated by the air of adventure and romance of the exotic East. The main themes describe some aspect of human life and behaviour, some of which are idealism versus realism, survival and the trials and tribulations that are encountered through life.

"Youth" is a story of romance and later disillusionment. It is essentially a longing look at the idealism and romance of youth. Marlow gives an account of his first voyage as a second mate and the grandeur and excitement he had experienced. The voyage was actually a disaster, including delays, frustrations and the eventual sinking of the ship; his arrival on the shores of the exotic East was in a lifeboat. The burning and sinking of the ship is an adventure to be savoured, but this also foreshadows his future: the flames of youth are quenched by time, the ship does not reach its destination and Marlow's youthful dreams are not reached.

Marlow, the self-absorbed romantic, sees the extraordinary difficulties that plague Judea, the ship and her crew members, which include ramming, rat infestation, crew rebellion, Abraham, the first mate, losing his mind and finally the loss of the ship itself in an explosion, as exciting experiences not so much as tragedies. In his own command of one of the longboats, he sees a ship on the horizon that might as well relieve them of their duty of bringing the boats into port. But he says nothing for this would deprive him of the thrill of his command, then in his awakening to, as he sees it, the magical East.

During the period of youth, one endures the trials and tribulations



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