"The Secret Sharer" Analytical Essay by capital writers

"The Secret Sharer"
Discusses the theme of the journey within in Joseph Conrad's novel.
# 28273 | 1,059 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 24, 2003 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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At the helm of a nameless ship, a young man referred to only as Captain, over-comes the challenges of his first command when he meets face to face the darker side of self within a fugitive he secretly rescues from the dark night sea. The paper shows that in "The Secret Sharer", Joseph Conrad explores the insecurities of a young sea captain who feels not only a stranger to the ship and its crew, but to himself. The story takes place in the late 19th century aboard a merchant ship in the Gulf of Siam, a lonely and isolated area of the world, which Conrad uses to help accentuate the Captain's own feelings of isolation and uncertainty. The paper explains that the major theme of Conrad's story is the conflict between obeying societal laws and yielding to instinctual survival decisions, law verses outlaw. The Captain sees within the fugitive, Leggatt, a part of himself yet unexplored. The paper concludes that Leggatt becomes a catalyst for the Captain in his search for the courage to take command and responsibility of not only his ship, but life itself, thus, his rescue of Leggatt becomes the rescue of himself.

From the Paper:

"Symbolically, both are outcasts, Leggatt from society due to his crime, and the Captain from his command due to his self-doubt. The Captain feels such an affinity for Leggatt that he hides him in his cabin, sharing his food, his clothes, and even his bed. He also shares his secret feelings of doubt and inadequacy, thus, bonding on a psychological and spiritual level with Leggatt. They become simpatico, communicating more with eye contact and gestures than words, causing the Captain, the narrator of the story to express, "What could I tell him that he did not already know? (Conrad 1997)" The Captain even deludes the skipper of the Sephora when he comes aboard looking for Leggatt, the Captain's secret sharer, and it is then that the urgency to plan Leggatt's escape befalls them."

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