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MonkeyNotes-The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
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Notes

This section reveals how stressful the situation has become by the Captain's reaction to the steward's putting away of his coat. The captain cannot contain these two separate lives for much longer. Eventually one must be sacrificed for the other. Although this is disturbing to the Captain, he knows it must be done. The bond of mutual understanding between the two negates the need for anything but the most superficial verbal communication yet this is a world where communication is terse and vocal, where a Captain must act in a certain way in order to gain the respect of his crew. So far, the Captain has failed at this. His distraction with his secret sharer has made him even less present to the crew although he has learned about himself through his interactions with Leggatt. He has been able to unburden his fears and anxieties as well as extend himself to another. It is critical now that he turns his whole attention to the ship's survival and maintenance rather than to Leggatt's.


Leggatt reveals his gratitude to the Captain in this scene. He too has felt that only the Captain has understood his plight. He says to the Captain that he, "seemed to be there on purpose." Now comes the final test of their intimate sharing of each other's souls. After having acknowledged one another, they must now let the other go. The Captain has also gained quite a bit of confidence as he plans Leggatt's escape. He gives orders and does not care what the mates' reactions are to them. He has a mission and is determined to accomplish it.

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MonkeyNotes-The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
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