That places the young captain in a moral dilemma: After being towed downriver presumably from Bangkok by a steam tug, the ship is left at anchor near a group of small barren islands a few miles off shore, waiting for wind to begin its voyage.
The entire section is words. The date is probably in the s, when Conrad was at sea himself. Leggatt tells the Captain that he must maroon him amongst some islands, because he knows he cannot return to England and face prison or the gallows. The young captain upholds his own moral code by pledging and keeping his word to the mysterious murderer Leggatt, even though his code stands in opposition to conventional law and morality.
This happens when they instinctively lower their voices on hearing the footsteps of the second mate who has now taken over the watch on the deck overhead.
The man introduces himself as Leggatt, and the Captain fetches him some clothes one of his sleeping suits. Leggatt is, by definition, a killer who murdered an insolent sailor while simultaneously saving the Sephora during a terrible storm. He feels like a stranger to his new command, the ship, and his crew.
Like the skipper of the Sephora the ship from which Leggatt escapedthe Captain worries over his reputation and the means by which he can preserve it during his first command.
While Leggatt did not intentionally kill the seaman, he is still a powerful and slightly sinister figure. Leggatt jumps off the deck and swims to safety, the Captain successfully maneuvers the ship out of danger, and wishes Leggatt luck in finding his "new destiny.
Because of this, he is doubtful, untried, and feels himself at the mercy of a crew that while not mutinous or even hostile, slightly undermines the authority that a captain should possess if he is to truly command a ship as he sees fit.
He makes the point several times that he is the "stranger" on board. Our captain, not a natural liar, manages to bluff through, but is left terrified as to what his own officers make of his strained behaviour. He searches the ship, but Leggatt remains hidden, thanks to the maneuverings of the Captain.
Inthe chief mate of the British clipper ship Cutty Sark killed another crew member for insolence during a storm and was later arrested in London for his murder. The naked swimmer is hesitant to talk or come on board, but seems pleased to discover he is speaking to the captain.
Leggatt, a "stranger" on the other ship just as the captain is on his, would certainly face the gallows on landing. There are similarities between the two stories, with the Captain and Leggatt becoming Razumov and Haldin, respectively.
Examining the story in light of these deeper levels of meaning transforms the work from a typical adventure story to an allegorical work, rich in symbolism. During a storm which nearly sank their ship on their voyage here, Leggatt was physically wrestling with the man to make him to pull a rope when a freak wave threw them both against a bulwark and the man was killed.
June Learn how and when to remove this template message The story has a theme seen in some other Conrad stories Lord JimNostromo of the hero facing a decision and drifting into the one which is "wrong" by normal social standards, a lapse from the rules he is expected to follow.
As the ship approaches Koh-ring, an island, the Captain orders the crew to steer the ship close to the shore. An episode from the sea".
He is unfamiliar with both his ship and his crew, having joined the ship only a fortnight earlier, and unsure of his ability to exert his authority over the officers and crew who have been together for some time.
They protest that such a move is unsafe, but the Captain is determined to give Leggatt a chance to swim to safety. His discovery of Leggatt changes the Captain in both obvious and subtle ways.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. He agrees to hide Leggatt in his stateroom. The captain and Leggatt evolve a plan: Still on deck, Leggatt explains that he was the First Mate of the other ship, but was placed under arrest after being accused of murdering a crew member.
At the end of the story, when Leggatt drops into the sea from a stern porthole, we do not even know if he survives the long swim to the Indo-China shore, to start a new life. Conrad also drew on his own time as captain of the Otago, when his first mate did not trust him and got a particular scare when Conrad maneuvered the ship dangerously close to rocks in the Gulf of Siam.
An incoming ship is anchored similarly a couple of miles away, awaiting a tug to go upriver. The Captain, therefore, represents the more rational but timid side of humankind, while Leggatt represents the more irrational but brave side.
Leggatt comes close to discovery several times, almost like a stage farce. While the reader is likely to believe that Leggatt does not deserve to be convicted of murder, there is no doubt that the captain, as the representative of the law on his ship, is breaking all the rules in concealing Leggatt.
The Captain and Leggatt share their relief at not having been caught. At supper that night, the Captain remarks that he saw the masts of a ship that must be anchored inside a nearby group of islands.
Once aboard, the swimmer, Leggatt, confesses that he is fleeing from his own ship, the Sephora, because he murdered a fellow sailor. The story contains elements of real events. Leggatt, a good swimmer, will drop into the sea and swim ashore further down the Gulf of Siam while the ship is sailed as close in to land as possible.Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of The Secret Sharer.
It helps middle and high school students understand Joseph Conrad's literary masterpiece. Free summary and analysis of Chapter 1 in Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer that won't make you snore.
The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad - book cover, description, publication history. Story Summary Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List "The Secret Sharer" begins with the anonymous narrator — the recently appointed captain of an unnamed ship — anchored in the Gulf of Siam (what is now called the Gulf of Thailand).
"The Secret Sharer" was published inand the story is based on an actual incident, with some of the facts altered to suit Conrad's artistic purposes: In the s, a mate aboard the Cutty Sark killed an insubordinate sailor during an altercation in which the insubordinate sailor eventually.
Complete summary of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Secret Sharer.Download