Indos, abjects, exiles : Joseph Conrad's culturally liminal characters in the age of nationalism
This essay is an investigation of transnational author Joseph Conrad’s engagement with issues of cultural liminality during the years around the turn of the 20th century. Through an examination of Almayer from Almayer’s Folly, Yanko of “Amy Foster”, and Cornelius from Lord Jim, the common experience of cultural displacement is considered. Conrad placed these three culturally liminal characters in various, carefully constructed social environments. Thus far, these characters have been under investigated in the critical literature, particularly the mixed-culture Almayer and Cornelius. By investigating these three characters and their environments, this essay demonstrates how Conrad depicts cultural displacement in the age of nationalism to be increasingly multifaceted but inevitably disastrous. The essay further reveals the need for more careful critical assessments of the cultural nuances of Conrad’s characters.
Conrad, Joseph, Almayer's Folly, Amy Foster, Lord Jim, Almayer, Yanko, Cornelius, Liminality, Exile, Cultural Displacement, Southeast Asia, Transnationalism, Nationalism, Hybridity, Abject, Indo-European, Indo, Eurasian
Master of Arts (M.A.)