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The Secret Sharer, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 185

Essay

Name

The Secret Sharer”, by Joseph Conrad.

Setting

A ship at sea near the Gulf of Siam.

Characters

The captain, insecure, highly intelligent, troubled; Leggatt, mysterious, defiant, determined; the chief mate, exacting, meticulous; Archbold, the captain of the Sephora, experienced, confident.

The Story

A young, inexperienced ship’s captain discover a nearly dead man floating by the side of his vessel and rescues him.  After learning that this man, Leggatt, killed another crewman on a the nearby ship Sephora, the captain hides him in his own quarters, protecting him from a search by Archbold, the Sephora’s captain.  Finally, the captain successfully gets Leggatt to safety on a nearby island, risking his own ship and crew in the process.

Author’s Perspective

The story is very much about self-discovery, as the character of Leggatt serves to bring out new and unexpected dimensions in the young captain.   Using the vast unknown of the sea as a metaphor for life, Conrad helps the reader understand that random strangers may force us to make choices which both reveal and shape who we are.   The perspective is removed, but the nearly mythical quality of the story adds a hopefulness to it.

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