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MonkeyNotes-The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad

"The Secret Sharer" is forthright in structure and simple in style, as direct and immediate and frightening as any very personal diary. Heart of Darkness, on the other hand, is evasive in structure and even uncomfortably wordy. Words! At times Conrad and Marlow seem to want to erect (as does a psychoanalyst's patient) a screen of words between themselves and the horror of a half-remembered experience.

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Conrad, Joseph. “The Secret Sharer.” : Penguin Group, 1997.

Conrad The Secret Sharer Essays - StudentShare

incorporate an argument for the existence of the double in “The Secret Sharer.” It is not enough that the doubles appear in the work.

...But both stories are also dramas of consciousness and conscience, symbolic explorations of inward complexity. They are... stories of youth's initiation into manhood and knowledge, dramatized testings of personal strength and integrity, psychological studies in half-conscious identification. Why does Marlow seek out and remain loyal to the unspeakable and savage Kurtz in Heart of Darkness? Why does the narrator (the "I") of "The Secret Sharer" protect the criminally impulsive Leggatt? Both have identified themselves, temporarily, with these outcast and more primitive beings; lived vicariously in them. In the unconscious mind of each of us slumber infinite capacities for reversion and crime. And our best chance for survival, moral survival, lies in frankly recognizing these capacities.

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Conrad The Secret Sharer Essays

Another theme clustered throughout the novel is isolation. Same as mystery, isolation is projected in the title and opening paragraphs. Isolation brings about a need for sharing. The first sentence «abandoned forever by some nomad tribe of fisherman now gone to the other end of the ocean; for there was no sign of human habitation as far as the eye could reach,» foreshadows the appearance of isolation and seclusion. Further more, the narrator is a stranger to everyone on the ship. As the captain remarked, «my strangeness, which had made me sleepless, had promoted that unconventional arrangement, as if I had expected in those solitary hours of the night to get on terms with the ship of which I knew nothing, manned by men of whom I knew very little more.» This isolation is broken by the entrance of yet another stranger, Leggatt. Much like the captain he was also a stranger on his ship. Also, he spent many days locked up in isolation on his former ship, and two nights after that swimming in isolation. Even with this arrival. The captain is still isolated from the crew. The feelings of isolation subside, however. «It's a great satisfaction to have got somebody to understand.» Thus, Leggatt was created to break the feeling of isolation for both the captain and himself.Starting in the opening paragraphs, the patterns of silence and calmness are projected in the novel. «I saw the strait line of the flat shore joined to the stable sea» instills in a reader a scene of calmness and order. «She floated at the starting point of a long journey, very still in an immense stillness... there was not a sound in her - and around us nothing moved» further adds to the effect. Further on in the novel the captain «was met by the profound silence of the fore end of the ship.» When the captain takes his stroll he notices «all was still down there.» Everything in the novel from «solemnity of perfect solitude» in atmosphere of the opening paragraphs, to the «silent young man» character of the second mate, to the «stillness of air and water» and «silent play of summer lighting» in nature reflect the world of the novel which is the solemn and silent ship. The captain and Leggatt must abide by these laws of the world, and in order to maintain this artificial silence imposed upon them, they spoke is soft whispers audible only to each other.

etc. “The Secret Sharer” is one work in which doppelgangers occur. Compare and/or contrast the doubles. As part of your thesis,

The Secret Sharer written by Joseph Conrad, centers around a of a sea captain. Its title and opening paragraphs forecast a story of mystery, isolation, duality, darkness and silence. The novel proves true these predictions reveling thematic and image patterns directly proportional to them. The opening of the novel further reveals dialectics in the novel. The clash between the private and the public world or man versus society, in other words is the primary dialectic. The journey theme or the rite of passage theme also reveal themselves. We see a young and inexperienced captain grow and explore himself and the world around him, and in the process becoming a functional member of a society. The novella may be only fifty pages long but its words speak volumes.

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Result for "Conrad The Secret Sharer": 500 essays


the secret sharer by joseph conrad

The first indication of a course that a novel may take is its title. The three little words contained in the title give rise to many interpretations. An image generated by the title could be that of a gossip. Since a gossip is someone who tells people's secrets, or in other words is a secret sharer if the word secret is taken for a noun, it is a possibility that this image might come to mind. Another image is that of a person who shares in secrecy, therefore becoming a secret sharer, if the word secret is taken for an adjective. This could be an image of a miser, who generally does not share his wealth, but does so only in secrecy. A secret sharer could also be an imaginary friend. It would be a person who is secretive, and you share your thoughts with them. A Biblical interpretation of the secret sharer could be that of the snake in the garden of Eden. Since the snake shares the ultimate secret of knowledge with Adam and Eve, it could be considered a secret sharer. The connotations of the two main words in the title show a contradiction. A secret has a mysterious somewhat evil connotation, while a sharer has a benevolent and good connotation. This gives rise to a possibility of a good and evil dialectic. The denotation of secret is something kept private, sharing is, however, a public act. This brings to light the dialectic of the public versus the private world.

Essay/Term paper: The secret sharer critical analysis

What is so elusive about him is that he is always promising to make some general philosophic statement about the universe, and then refraining with a gruff disclaimer.... Is there not also a central obscurity, something noble, heroic, beautiful, inspiring half a dozen great books; but obscure, obscure? These essays [Conrad's Notes on Life and Letters, 1921] do suggest that he is misty in the middle as well as at the edges, that the secret casket of his genius contains a vapour rather than a jewel; and that we need not try to write him down philosophically, because there is, in this particular direction, nothing to write. No creed, in fact. Only opinions, and the right to throw them overboard when facts make them look absurd.

The secret sharer critical analysis. Literature Criticism

Conrad establishes the credentials ofhis narrator by providing both objective and subjective information abouthim. Since he was appointed the captainof the ship, one infers that he had these qualities: he was intelligent, he hadgood observatory skills, he had leadership qualities, and he was an experiencedseaman. However, his shortcomings, orfrailties, are discovered quickly in the opening scenes. He feels alone and estranged from hisshipmates and from the ship. He is fullof self-doubt about measuring up to his ideal of this new command position: hesecond-guesses all of his manners, actions and commands. This sets the stage for the psychological journeyof discovery the captain was about to embark upon.

The Secret Sharer written by Joseph ..

The archetypal elements found in the opening paragraphs and throughout the reveal the hidden meanings and intentions of the author. The «two small clumps of trees» which symbolize generative and degenerative processes, growth, proliferation, consistence and immortality, mark «the mouth of the river Meinam» which in turn symbolizes the rebirth, the flowing of time into eternity and the transitional phases of the life cycle, present the work in miniature. Also, the mouth of a river is where the salt water meets the fresh water symbolizing the place where the consciousness and the unconsciousness meet. The two trees are an exponent of duality a recurrent theme in the novel. They also reflect the secret partnership to be formed between Leggatt and the captain. Furthermore, the green color of the trees symbolizes growth touching upon the theme of the rite of passage. The captain comes into the sea, an archetypal symbol of spiritual mystery and infinity, death and rebirth, timelessness and eternity, and the unconscious. This marks a beginning of a journey into the unknown for the captain. The sun shining overhead symbolized the law of nature, the energy, and the consciousness. The ship can therefore be seen as in a balance between unconsciousness and consciousness. The blue color of the sea symbolizes a positive side, truth and spiritual purity. The land that the captain left behind symbolizes the mother. Further more adding to the growth of the captain.

The secret sharer critical analysis

The pattern of mysteriousness seen in the opening paragraphs of the novel continues to appear throughout it. From the first sentence «a mysterious system of half submerged bamboo fence» the theme is established. Even from the title one can assume a theme of secrecy which directly implies mysteriousness. Furthermore the crew does not know their captain, and the captain does not know his crew. This fact adds to the mystery, especially after the mysterious and strange order not to have a night watch given by the captain. In addition, the names of the ship and the captain are withheld establishing a sense of mystery. The meeting of Leggatt adds yet another mystery. «Mysterious shades of night» progress to «mysterious communication» established between the narrator and Leggatt who «mysteriously» emerged from the sea. Also, the captain's action of hiding Leggatt brings more mystery to the crew. Likewise, Captain Archbold saw in the narrator, «a mysterious similitude to the young fellow he had distrusted and disliked from the first.» The character of Leggatt is mysterious in itself. The reader is never fully understands the true nature of Leggatt's actions. Also, the past lives of all characters in the novel are never mentioned or considered.

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