By D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke
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Additional info for Developing Countries in British Fiction
10 The 'moment of exceptional stress' refers to the typhoon and 'the human element below her deck' to the coolies. The Chinese pose a psycho-moral test to the seamen as did Wait, but they really matter as a group. None of them is important as an individual. The only Chinese who is presented as an individual at all is the clerk of the Bun Hin Company. At the beginning of the tale, Captain MacWhirr instructs Jukes to show him the arrangements aboard the Nan-Shan for the coolies: He was gruff, as became his racial superiority, but not unfriendly.
Wait, then, is a fully realistic character, and exceptionally important for a secondary one. He is far more important than the Congolese in Heart of Darkness, who appear mainly as the anonymous victims of imperialism, or Makola in An Outpost of Progress, who is the sardonic witness of what is presented as the typical 'white' man's doom on the fringes of a rapacious empire. Conrad never selected a negro to be a chief character. He is not, in this respect, a Cary. Wait stands as his fullest and most significant attempt to portray a negro, and my case is that the element of conventionality in his attitudes and the degree of artistic immaturity detract only slightly from the originality - as man- 46 Developing Countries in British Fiction ifest in the choice of subject as in the rendering- which makes Wait the first outstanding negro character in British fiction.
S. Pritchett does. LJrd Jim, Youth, The End ofthe Tether, Typhoon, The Secret Sharer, The Shadow-Line, on the other. The fiction in the former category is set almost wholly in Far Eastern countries, whereas the stories in the latter group are set for the most part on board ships in Far Eastern seas; each class has its respective thematic concerns and artistic attributes. Still, certain aspects of the stories in the latter category are pertinent to my study of how Challenges and problems of the Far East (i): Conrad's tales 35 Conrad reacted to and presented developing countries in the Far East.
Developing Countries in British Fiction by D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke