The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Secret Sharer, by Joseph Conrad This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions. The Secret-Sharer. AN. EPISODE. F~OM. THE. SEA. BY JOSEPH. CONRAD. OK my right hand there were lines of fishing-stakes resembling a mys-. The Secret Sharer. Joseph Conrad. Written December ; published in Harper's in and collected in 'Twixt Land and Sea, This web edition.
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Free download of The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad. Available in PDF, ePub and site. Read, write reviews and more. PDF version of The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad. ship captain, to a more confident and secure individual, due to his experiences with the Secret Sharer. Conrad, Joseph - The Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer · Read more · The Secret Sharer The Secret Sharer E-book · Read more · Joseph Conrad and.
I assign four papers outside class: a reader-response to a poem, an explication de texte, a character analysis either drama or fiction , and a documented critical paper. There are also several in-class writing activities, including essay examinations, and I require students to maintain a journal in which they record their own responses to the readings—likes and dislikes, questions, links to previous readings, interpretive speculations and other trial balloons—throughout the semester.
See Appendix below. That this paper focuses on criticism as well as on a rather complex work of literature, in this view, only exacerbates the problem. The sooner they begin to learn them, the better. This paper, then, introduces them to a process of inquiry—hunting for secret messages—and of sharing with others the experience and the results of inquiry, a process that will after all be enriched as it is used again in other, more advanced courses.
In addition, the documented critical paper at least familiarizes students with the presence of an ongoing conversation among a community of readers into which the students are now entering, adding their own voice to the conversation.
This is easier said than done. Most, after all, are embarking on the English major not because they have been turned on by the critics but because of a felicitous experience of reading—and perhaps talking about, or writing—imaginative literature. Because the story is so satisfying on this level, it is rewarding to allow appreciation to be expressed rather fully, until someone—and it will happen, sooner or later—begins to note that there are still a few loose ends in the story.
Taking a stand prematurely on these issues is very likely to commit the class to a single interpretive stance and to cancel out other promising ones. Below are some of the questions that might be used to keep open the possibilities for diverse readings. One hopes, of course, that students will raise at least some of these questions, or similar ones, themselves, although the teacher may have to act as a sort of interlocutor to ensure their articulation. They are presented here roughly in the order in which they might be said to arise in the story.
Not all of the questions are necessary to accomplish the enhanced receptiveness we are after. How close in time is the narration to the time of the events narrated? To whom is the narrative addressed?
That is, is there an audience in the story? How did he receive his post, coming as it did in mid-voyage? What is his name? Why does Leggatt mention twice that his father is a country parson? Why is Leggatt unwilling to stand trial? Why does the captain pretend to be hard of hearing? What sort of future do we imagine for Leggatt after his escape? How will he live? Under what circumstances could he return to England? Raising such questions in class problematizes the narrative and exposes what Wolfgang Iser has famously called hermeneutic gaps or blanks in the text.
He is drawn into the events and made to supply what is meant from what is not said. Moreover—and this is one of the real advantages of the controlled research project such as the one described here—it prepares them for the diversity of critical perspectives they will encounter during their research. As I have already suggested, many of these preliminary questions are in fact related to the interests foregrounded by the various schools of criticism represented in the casebook.
Wallace, siding with Smith, allowed him to escape, much to the consternation of the rest of the crew, and then took his own life. Smith was eventually brought to trial and found guilty of manslaughter. What light does this information shed on the crime Leggatt has committed, the manner in which Captain Archbold handled the situation, and the harboring of the fugitive Leggatt by the captain-narrator?
And now a confession is in order. After all, is not this story a notorious pushover for critics of widely varying persuasions, all equally adamant? Schwarz, Joyce Wexler, and Josiane Paccaud have followed with a certain inevitability. The challenge is to attend to as many as possible.
Such recursive narrative discourse ultimately has the effect of complicating and postponing for as long as possible our apprehension of truth.
Criticism of that discourse, in turn, also complicates by reiteration. When this will be, and how he will know it when it comes, he has no clear idea at the moment he decides to take this reckless action. What then is the real reason? But if so, to whom is the gesture directed? Is it directed to Leggatt, who has heard the captain declare his intention to go close to the shore but who has already departed the ship before the climactic shift of the helm?
But perhaps the gesture is aimed at the crew, a demonstration of his authority and skill after so much delinquency? If so, is it really necessary to inspire such terror to get across his message? Yet his very aloneness implies that whatever control he may have gained over the crew may have been downloadd at too dear a price.
Its appearance then is no more the result of a conscious choice than the rogue wave that swamped the Sephora at the very moment that Leggatt had seized the insubordinate sailor by the throat. Yet both events are regarded as actions with morally binding consequences. Yet fortunately the other voices do not altogether go away, and for the reader the opportunity to include as many as possible, or at least to retain their distant echoes and return to hear them again, is one of the glories of literary study.
My emphasis in this article on both iterative over-determination and the interpretive gaps may itself seem disingenuous. It is not going too far to say, with Gerald Graff, that this is essentially what we are about as readers and teachers of literature.
Its fundamental secrets are still intact, tempting us to pursue them anew with each reading. This is surely a secret worth sharing. He watches as the tugboat that pulled the ship out of port to the open water disappears in the distance. He can see another ship anchored not far away awaiting a tug to pull it into port.
He stares out at the calm water as "the tide of darkness flowed on swiftly"; he can see the stars swarming above. The Captain joins his men for supper below deck. The steward busies himself preparing the ship's meal. The first mate is a heavily bearded, seasoned sailor who is extremely earnest and likes to explain or understand everything that comes his way.
The Captain recalls how the first mate discovered a scorpion in his cabin. The mate was irritated because he couldn't figure out how the creature got into his cabin on the water. The second mate is a quiet young man with a solemn appearance. The Captain mentions a boat anchored nearby. The first mate seems surprised; the second mate looks a little worried. The first mate ventures a theory about why the ship is anchored nearby. The second mate says that his theory is right.
The tugboat operator had told him it is waiting to be taken into port. Both the Captain and the first mate wonder why the second mate didn't tell them about the nearby boat right away. The Captain again expresses that what he "felt most was my being a stranger to the ship. He says that he, the Captain, will take the first overnight watch awaiting the winds to pick up.
This is an unusual suggestion from a captain, but he hopes it might help the crew to accept him.
The Secret Sharer Summary & Study Guide Description
The first mate also finds it an odd suggestion, but he agrees and goes below deck to rest. The Captain says his "strangeness" has made him sleepless and hopes his time on watch will allow him to get more acquainted with the ship. He is familiar with the route they are sailing, east around Africa and north to England. He enjoys a cigar on deck as his crew sleeps below, rejoicing in "the great security of the sea as compared with the unrest of the land.
At first annoyed that his men didn't pull up the ladder, he realizes that his abrupt suggestion that they all rest is probably why it was left. As he begins retrieving the ladder, he feels an unexpected jerk stop him. He looks over the side of the ship and sees something long and pale floating in the water.
Looking closer, he sees it is a naked man. He is shocked, for the man looks dead. The Captain notices the man's arm holding the ladder and then the man's upturned face.
He is a young man like the Captain. The Captain speaks to the man cautiously, learning that his name is Leggatt and that he has been swimming for a few hours and decided to rest holding the ladder. The Captain is somehow calmed by Leggatt's voice and sense of self-possession. The Captain allows him to climb up the ladder onto the ship.
The Captain goes below to his stateroom to get Leggatt some clothes; he notes that his crew is still silently asleep. Leggatt puts on the sleeping suit the Captain brings him, and it is the same grey sleeping suit the Captain is wearing. Leggatt follows the Captain to a safe place to talk.
Leggatt describes what happened to him before he began swimming in the Gulf as "an ugly business. Many weeks ago, the Sephora hit bad weather. While the captain of the Sephora didn't appear to be reacting well to the terrible conditions, Leggatt moved into action to try to maintain the ship. One of the crew members on the Sephora didn't like Leggatt, who felt the same about the man, describing him as one of the "miserable devils that have no business to live at all.
As the winds and water barreled onto the ship, Leggatt and the man fought, Leggatt choking him and shaking him like a rat. When they were found after the ship settled, Leggatt had his hands around the now dead man's neck.
The Sephora's captain followed the letter of the law and put Leggatt in a locked room to stay in until they came to land and he could be turned over to the authorities. Leggatt sat in the room for many weeks with only a short time each day to be outside.
As Leggatt tells his story, the Captain begins to see how much he has in common with the man, physically and otherwise. They both trained at the same elite British royal navy academy.
The Captain "knew well enough also that my double there was no homicidal ruffian," and he sees Leggatt's story "going on as though I were myself inside that other sleeping suit.
He takes him down to his stateroom to hide him and returns to the deck, calling for the second mate to relieve him of watch duties.
Returning to his room, the Captain provides a detailed description of the layout of his room. It is L-shaped, with a raised bed with curtains, a desk, couch, and a small bathroom. He considers the various ways he can keep Leggatt hidden in the room. The two men stand close to each other so they can whisper and not be heard.
Leggatt continues his story, explaining that he was angry that he had saved the ship in the storm but was treated like a criminal for fighting off a lazy crew member at that dangerous moment. Leggatt feels the Sephora's captain was fearful of what could happen to him—by law and by the men on his ship—if he didn't deal with Leggatt harshly.
After seven weeks of captivity, when the Sephora anchored in the Gulf of Siam, Leggatt was able to slip out of the room when the steward who brought his food forgot to lock the door. He dove into the water at night to swim for his freedom. The crew heard him, and while Leggatt expected they'd drop the boats to search for him, he was still able to make it to a small islet.
He tied up his clothes to a rock and sank them below the water: "That was suicide enough for me. He says, "I was almost as much of a stranger on board as himself.
The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
The Captain thinks the steward gives him a strange look. Back on deck, the Captain gives orders to his men because he "felt the need of asserting myself.
He is preoccupied with his "secret self" sleeping in his stateroom, thinking of Leggatt as "the secret sharer of my life. A voice outside the door tells the Captain a boat is approaching the ship. He orders the ladder to be dropped, and Leggatt appears worried and frozen. Part 2 Captain Archbold , from the Sephora anchored nearby, arrives to talk to the Captain about his missing first mate.
Seemingly all business, Archbold explains that he and some of his men have been exploring the surrounding small islands looking for Leggatt. The Captain plays dumb. Drunk and angry at his wife, Michael sells his wife and baby to a sailor during an auction at a co The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Cl WIN the ultimate Audiobook experience!
Enter here no download necessary. Join Now Login. Click to Preview. Joseph Conrad Downloads: Book Description HTML The captain of the ship, the Colorado, changes from an insecure and inexperienced ship captain, to a more confident and secure individual, due to his experiences with the Secret Sharer.English is the course that entering students, whether transfers or homegrown, are advised to take immediately.
The Captain again expresses that what he "felt most was my being a stranger to the ship. Torgovnick, Marianna.
Conrad, Joseph - The Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer
A phosphorescent flash passed under it. Guerard, Albert J. He was of a painstaking turn of mind. The steward being engaged in laying the table for dinner, we could talk only with our eyes when I first went down. But even then I could only barely make out down there the shape of his black-haired head.
In addition to supervising the ship's meals, the steward is also responsible for the Captain's stateroom and anything he might need.
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