First published in 1902, ’Typhoon’ can be easily passed as pre-twentieth century literature. It’s a short story depicting a ship experiencing a terribly destructive typhoon and coming out of it, but not without coming inch-close to death. Typhoon is a classic sea yarn, possibly based upon Conrad’s actual experience of seaman’s life, and probably on a real incident aboard of the real steamer John P. Best. One of the major themes of the novella is the contrast between Conrad’s characters who are imaginative men aware of the larger issues of life and conscious of the potential for disaster and the literal minded and relatively unaware Captain MacWhirr. MacWhirr is a hard working captain devoted to routine and loyal to the needs of the Nan-Shan and the interests of her owners. The novella classically evokes the seafaring life at the turn of the century. While Macwhirr, who, according to Conrad, „never walked on this Earth” – is emotionally estranged from his family and crew, and though he refuses to consider an alternate course to skirt the typhoon, his indomitable will in the face of a superior natural force elicits grudging admiration.
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