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‘Typhoon’

Pall Mall Magazine, Typhoon and Other Stories, Nan-Shan

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Tre‐Taliesin Cardiganshire to Hilda Vaughan Biography

a story by Joseph Conrad, first published in Pall Mall Magazine (1902) and collected in Typhoon and Other Stories (1903). The story of a steamship, the Nan-Shan, carrying 200 Chinese coolies from Fu-chau to their homes in Fo-kien, ‘Typhoon’ focuses on the two tests with which the captain is confronted during the voyage: the typhoon itself and the problem of apportioning the coolies' money and possessions, which have become confused during the typhoon. Conrad tells part of ‘Typhoon’ through letters from the three main characters: Captain MacWhirr; Mr Jukes, the first mate; and Mr Solomon Rout, the chief engineer. At the centre of the story is the contrast between the unimaginative Captain MacWhirr and his imaginative first mate, and the story both invites an evaluation of Captain MacWhirr's performance and explores the advantages and disadvantages of imagination.

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