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Bring out the significance of the title 'The secret sharer' - What do Legatt and the captain share and how does that affect the title of the story?

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Bring out the significance of the title 'The secret sharer' What do Legatt and the captain share and how does that affect the title of the story? The secret sharer by Joseph Conrad, is a tale of two strangers who meet in unusual circumstances. Legatt who was the first mate of the Sephora, escapes his ship where he was held captive after murdering a member of his crew. He swims to another ship and admits the whole truth to the captain. Both the captain and Legatt have bad relationships with their crew and they empathise with each other. Legatt is to be kept secret from the crew. His secrets are that he has murdered and is hiding to escape punishment and death. The captain's secrets are that his men, the ship and the responsibility of his first command daunt him. The two of them share these secrets with each other and an intense relationship is built between them. Thus giving the title 'The secret sharer'.. The captain and Legatt share physical similarities, they are the same size. "My sleeping suit was just right for his size" (pg6-7) And they share a very close resemblance of each other; this is reflected in the description of Legatt by the captain. ...read more.


(pg 3) The captain feels isolated and completely in the dark where his crew and ship are concerned, he is a complete stranger to them. "....ship of which, I knew nothing, manned by men of whom I knew very little more." (pg 4) Legatt and the captain are both aware of feeling strangers aboard the ship, this draws a bond between them and closeness and understanding of each other builds their relationship. "My second mate. But I don't know much more of the fellow than you do"(pg 12) "I was almost as much of a stranger on board as himself" (pg 12) Both Legatt and the captain are unknown to an experienced crew. The captain had been appointed to his position, becoming a complete stranger among men who had worked together for some time. "I had been appointed to the command only a fortnight before. Neither did I know much of the hands forward. All these people had been together for eighteen months or so, and my position was that of the only stranger on board." (pg 2) His fellow crew regarded Legatt as a stranger to the Sephora. ...read more.


"Nothing! No one on the world should stand between us, throwing a shadow on the way of silent knowledge and mute affection, the perfect communication of a seaman with his first command." (pg 30) The captain realises he is in complete control and is confident as a leader of his vessel. His newly discovered trust in his abilities will help in the rest of his journey and the rest of his life. i As a direct result of his relationship with the secret sharer, the captain transforms from an inexperienced and insecure individual to a self assured and stable leader. In the beginning of the story, the captain does not know his place and has feelings of inadequacy. This changes when the captain meets the secret sharer and becomes secure and confident in his duty and his abilities. By releasing him into freedom, he is achieving his own maturation, and for it he is willing to pay a heavy price. After this experience the captain is ready to start a new confident life and guide his ship on its journey. The outcome of the story is that Legatt and the captain both become free, Legatt achieves personal freedom and the captain becomes free of his fears of command. This signifies the final bid they share together 'freedom'. i ...read more.

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