Analyzes narrative approach of sea story, character development, symbolism, themes, compares Beard & Captain Ahab of Herman Melville's [Moby Dick].
In 1881, a small British merchant ship, the Palestine, set out to carry a cargo of coal to Bangkok. Driven back repeatedly by storms, and then... more
In 1881, a small British merchant ship, the Palestine, set out to carry a cargo of coal to Bangkok. Driven back repeatedly by storms, and then needing repairs for leaks, the ship did not make its final departure from British waters for a full year after she first set out. Moreover, the Palestine never did reach its destination. In the Indian Ocean its cargo of coal, too frequently handled and thus broken into combustable smaller chunks, caught fire. The crew had to abandon ship, finally reaching Borneo in the vessel's boats (Allen 153ff).
The second mate on this harrowing voyage was a young man named Joseph Conrad, and his recollection of the events formed the basis of his short story, "Youth." In one sense, then, "Youth" occupies a curious debatable ground between fiction and autobiography. Some features of the story which we might take to