My task... is, before all, to make you see.
1 Conrad, J., The Nigger of the Narciccus. Typhoon and Other Stories, Preface, p.X. All subsequent references to Conrad's works will be taken from the Collected Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad, London: Dent, 1946 ff. Pagination will follow that of the Dent edition.
This often-quoted statement in the preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus is central to this thesis: it invites two questions. What does Conrad want us to see? How does he make us see it? He continues in the preface to say that Art: ... shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world.
It is this "unavoidable solidarity" that Conrad wants us to see. He was acutely aware of its opposite: discord; discord between man and man, man and Nature. In order to survive, man had to bind together in an organic community. There was strength in solidarity. Fleishman, in Conrad's Politics, traces Conrad's notion of social solidarity to the organicist theories of earlier English and German thinkers. He looks to philosophers Bradley and Bosanquet as representative of the final form of nineteenth century organicism. He finds connections between Bosanquet and Conrad: [From Introduction]