Literature as Teacher: Conrad’s “Youth”

I just re-read Conrad’s “Youth,” a short story. Marlow, the narrator and an old sailor tells a story to old drinking mates. He does a beautiful job of showing the energy and audacity of youth in contrast to the perspective of age and wisdom. Marlow has submitted to fate as good sailors must. He does not regret any misdirections he took in youth. Youth does what youth does. He doesn’t see folly in his youth, just the facts of energetic, essential innocence. Age has its essential experience. If youth had foresight, a man would have no youth. Hindsight given right wisdom should bring serenity and gratitude that you survived a burning ship. The image of a slow burning fire in the hold is powerful, grippingly present. What a motivator — a fire in the hold known only by insidious smoke and steam from below.  David Milliken

Facebook Twitter Email
This entry was posted in Commentary, Living and tagged , , by thet7200. Bookmark the permalink.

About thet7200

David Milliken has been a life-long, incurable English Major currently serving as Marketing VP for Lawyer-Agents.com and 4Inc.com, a provider of registered agents, incorporation services and LLC's and trademarks. Prior to that he was a professional chamber of commerce executive for chambers in Ohio, New York and Kansas. Other work includes community college PR, brick sales and community/economic development He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Idaho State University(M.A.) He attended Kansas State University for more English studies. He has not been a butcher, baker nor candlestick maker, but he has taught English and run for political office. David Milliken is an author aspiring to become a published one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *