The Symbolic Representation of the "Other" Analytical Essay by writingsensation

The Symbolic Representation of the "Other"
This paper focuses on symbolic similarities in Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer," William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and Miguel de Cervantes' "Don Quixote."
# 68201 | 1,455 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2006 | US

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This paper analyzes the theme of the physical self and the metaphorical other which represents the conscious and unconscious selves of the protagonists in all three works of writing. This paper details how the Captain in "The Secret Sharer," Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" and Quixote in "Don Quixote" have struggled to control these particular facets of their personalities. The writer of this paper examines how the three were either able to overcome this struggle or were eventually defeated. This paper clearly details the characteristic traits and events that led to the main characters' self realization. Shylock is primarily characterized as a man motivated by money and power, whose physical self is motivated by greed, while his metaphorical self was motivated by revenge. Don Quixote's character is similar to that of Shylock's. The writer contends and explains how in the same manner as Shylock, Don Quixote allowed his other self to emerge, thereby making him an insane individual, no longer able to distinguish between illusion and reality. The Captain is depicted as man who is not able to fully experience the kind of life that his metaphorical self desires, yet he nevertheless achieves it by helping the character of Leggatt achieve his freedom.

From the Paper:

"Conrad's psychological portrayal of the Captain became more explicit as the story neared its end. The Captain was not able to fully experience freedom and a carefree life, the kind of life that his metaphorical self desired, but he nevertheless achieved it by helping out Leggatt achieve his freedom. Moreover, wish-fulfillment was achieved when he let go of the symbolic white hat, which the Captain described as "marking the spot where the secret sharer of my cabin and of my thoughts, as though he were my second self...a free man, a proud swimmer striking out for a new destiny." His metaphorical self recognized, the Captain sought a better life by living his own life meaningfully, in his own way. Through this, he had achieved true self-actualization, for he was able to recognize the benefits and limits of both his physical and metaphorical selves."

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