"Today, this information about Jewel's origins and her great fear that Jim will desert her because he is white and she is not must be gleaned rather painstakingly from the novel. But Conrad's contemporary readers would have understood her situation and her fear immediately, for the instability of white/non-white romances is a very common trope of late-nineteenth century colonialist fiction. In colonialist stories, the white man always leaves, and the non-white woman often knows that he will."
Ruppel, Richard. “‘They always leave us’: Lord Jim, Colonialist Discourse, and Conrad's Magic Naturalism.” Studies in the Novel. 30.1 (Spring 1998): 50-62.
Johns Hopkins University Press