Nostromo or "Our Man"? The Role of Space, Movement and Power In Identity Construction in Joseph Conrad's Nostromo

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farnaz Ahmadi Sepehri. M.A Graduate Student
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Globalisation brings to the fore questions of space, place and identity. Human beings are always confined and disciplined in various spaces. And through the analysis of the characters’ failure in searching for ways to get rid of loneliness, it is revealed that in a confined space loneliness is inevitable and perpetual. Geographical setting plays very crucial role in Conrad's works and the space has a significant symbolic role in the production of the identity of the main characters. Conrad’s Nostromo (1904) provide a unique approach to the world-system by employing a distinct process of spatial exploration as a means of examining geographic areas of the world that are at least partially imaginary. Through the portrayal of the landscape, the opening chapter seems to suggest the existence of an independent, malevolent power. What is the suggestion in the opening chapter becomes an articulated fact by the end of the novel. Throughout the novel, distinct spaces like "Golfo Placido", "Costaguana", "Sulaco" and specially "San Tome" silver mine connects the space and spatiality to colonialism which impacts identity construction. In Nostromo, Conrad is shown at once contemptible of Spanish colonialism and 'new' Anglo-American imperialism and reluctant to venture a vision of a post-empire world. Fom the first pages of the novel, Nostromo is shown as an empire agent who under influence of the various spaces and movement between shifting these spaces experiences identity crises and isolation.

cfp categories: 
modernist studies