The Secret Sharer Analysis

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Sean Mccormack Mrs. Bierling British Literature October 26th, 2015 The Secret Sharer The “Secret Sharer” by Joseph Conrad is an intriguing novel that brings together mystery and drama into a thriller novel. His use of writing style and characters bring the story alive painting a mental image to the reader of what is happening. Conrad develops the plot by bringing an inexperienced captain aboard an advanced vessel, and giving readers the expectation that he will thrive, but ultimately is troubled by the overwhelming amount of work. But his astonishing use of doppelganger is used when we are introduced to Leggatt; his experience and knowledge ‘completes’ the captain almost as if Leggatt was his other half. The way in which Conrad is able…show more content…
The author portrays this before actually telling us through the captain in not giving him a name. This invites the reader to draw his own conclusions about the captain and why he is nameless. His lack of personal relationships show early on giving a sense that a part of his was missing not only from his crew but to the ship as well. He was lost in a sense on board as stated early in the book that he stood alone on the deck and was trying to fit in but just couldn’t. When you factor this in with his little knowledge of how to actually run this ship in particular; and not having prior experience Conrad foreshadows that his ‘second half’ would be exceptionally well and even have personal knowledge on the ship. His disconnect from the crew intensifies following as he goes and eats dinner for the first time with them. He fails and struggles to start up conversation and the narrator even explains that he was given dirty looks by the crew themselves, people that are supposed to bend over back for you and follow every order no matter what. This leads him to take on the night shift, very uncommon for captains to do, and he finds the ladder is down when it should be up. Upon looking he finds a naked man who we later learn to be Leggatt. After questioning his we find out that he used to be a mate on the ship but accidently killed one of the…show more content…
Where the captain is uncertain of himself and in his ability to run a ship, Leggatt is full of confidence and self pride. As you read on the death of a fellow crew mate at the hands of Leggatt makes you wonder about himself as a person and if he truly does fit as the captain's other side. The evil quality of the captain's doppelganger become obvious very quickly.In the midst of his isolation, the Captain finds a figurative double. There are many ways Conrad gives away that the story is a doppelganger without saying, indirect characterization. The two clumps of trees he observes represent two things that are completely different yet exactly the same. The scorpion found in the Chief Mate's cabin shows evil that lurks in Leggat and what is hidden in the captain as well. It can be interpreted to fit the situation as needed by Conrad. Also, they both symbolize the darker self that plagues everyone. Together As one, they run the ship efficiently and effectively when en route to Koh-ring, the Captain directs his men aggressively but assertively showing off his new found courage. Throughout these chapters he keeps his cool, and wins the respect of his crew that he so rightfully deserved and

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