The Importance Of Friendship In Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer

Improved Essays
The Importance of Friendship Friendship is, by definition, a relationship between two friends. Some believe that friendships are a necessity for human life. Joseph Conrad was a man who grew up not having many friends. As a young child he had missed school quite a bit from illnesses (Kathleen Wilson 200). This made it hard to have close relationships with other children. He did however gain a love for literature and the sea from his father at a young age (www.notablebiographies.com). This is more than likely where his novelette “The Secret Sharer” derived from. In Joseph Conrad’s novelette, “The Secret Sharer” he uses the relationship between the two main characters, the captain and Leggatt, to portray the theme of friendship. He uses characterization …show more content…
He lets us know a key detail to the whole story right of the bat. The captain is thinking to himself when the thought pops up: “All these people had been together for eighteen months or so, and my position was that of the only stranger on board. I mention this because it has some bearing on what is to follow.” (Conrad 5). Captain know that he is the stranger on this ship. He was brought on to be the head of the ship not knowing anything about the ship or the mates. This characterization is important to the plot of the whole story. It is also foreshadowing of what is to come and why it is adamant the reader understands …show more content…
He decides to take a night shift which comes as a surprise to the shipmates because he is the captain. He is an overseer not a worker. Watching over the ship, he tries to pull up a ladder that ends up having a man hanging on to the end of it. He lets the poor lad on the ship, and they instantly begin talking to one another so nonchalant. He thinks to himself, “A mysterious communication was established already between us two--in the face of that silent, darkened tropical sea” (Conrad 8). They had just met in the most odd circumstance, and yet they can still as if they had known one another for years. This shows the character of the captain by his actions. He easily is making friends with this complete stranger after just minutes of conversing. This also shows just how much friendships are needed in life. He has been lonely on the ship as a stranger and now that he meets this other stranger, he feels as if he can connect with

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    In most cases Victor has to figure out obstacles on his own, and because he has no companion, he frequently makes bad choices. Victor has extreme guilt about the Justine trial, and is very depressed because of the result. Victor knows Justine is not the murderer, but he does not want to sound crazy talking about the evil doings of his creation. Victor has no companion to talk about his ideas, and he copes with this depression by sitting in his boat. When Victor’s family would go to bed, he would sneak out at night, and spend many hours in his boat.…

    • 1935 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Prendick left Moreau’s island using the small boat he had seen that was washed ashore with two dead men in it. After drifting a few days, he was rescued. He told the captain and first mate about the adventure he went through but it seemed like they did not believe that what Prendick were saying are true or he might have gone crazy. It lead to Prendick deciding not to tell anyone ever again of the times he was on Moreau 's island because he is scared of being trapped or locked in white padded…

    • 968 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The short story, The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, is about a unlucky fisherman named Santiago. Everyone in the village thinks badly about him because it has been so long since he has caught a fish. Santiago has an apprentice named Manolin. Manolin still fishes and learns from Santiago despite Santiago’s bad reputation throughout the village. After Santiago has a dream about his childhood, Santiago takes his boat out further than any other fisherman has gone before.…

    • 1182 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This event is the first appearance of the theme: friendship. At his old school, Miles isolated himself because of his lack of friends. His parents thought he had a secret popular life; however, he actually feels lonely all the time (4). After leaving for college, Miles meets unique and kind people, but due to his lack of friendships in the past, he doubts them as real friends. His skepticism about friendship contributes to this theme as the readers eventually can see his development throughout the course of the novel.…

    • 1118 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    However, Philbrick points out that Pollard was not ready for be a captain, and we see why later on in the book. Owen Chase is the captain’s first mate, and Matthew Joy was the second mate. The Essex was operated with a 21-man crew. In chapter 2, Philbrick describes the ship. Also, in this chapter, we get a feel for the isolation of the “outsiders.” The captain and his mates would sleep in cabins that were in the back of the ship, next, the Nantucket colonists would stay in the steerage, and the blacks, separated by the blubber room, stayed in front of the boat.…

    • 1482 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Summary Of Robinson Crusoe

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Characters: Robinson Crusoe – He is the protagonist of this novel, and the narrator. He is a middle-class Englishman who just wants to go to sea in search of adventures, instead of staying in England with his family and finding a job and living a safe and quiet life. He feels guilty on many occasions for betraying his parents and the worry he must have put them through, but he is also very practical and makes the best of his situation that he finds himself in. He is a resourceful person. On the island where he is the sole survivor, he tries to live a safe and peaceful life, but there is always some kind of danger that he is brave enough to deal…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    That it was intrinsically valuable was a truism I had never questioned. But when he challenged the truism I was speechless.” (London, chapter 6) The protagonist soon realizes that he is in no match to Wolf Larsen’s philosophy, and must accept the realities that the captain had set on the ship. In addition, this event shows the dominance of Wolf Larsen as a character and how he can manipulate his powers to retain control of the members on the Ghost. Because of this, Humphrey keeps his beliefs silent within himself, unless it was Wolf Larsen who initiates the conversation. Humphrey’s second belief is questioned when he is in a philosophical argument with the captain.…

    • 1664 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The making of a good character begins with his or her backstory and the memories that make the character who he/she is. In the stories TOMATS (The Old Man and The Sea) and Casablanca, Santiago and Rick Blaine both have memories that they hold on to but the two characters backstories have many contrasting aspects to each other. Santiago’s memories are of his boyhood, which of full of joy and happiness and Rick’s deepest memories are of sadness, heartbreak and Ilsa, his/former love. Throughout their character arcs, both characters let their memories dictate their actions both emotionally and as motivation and at the end of both men's journeys both characters come to terms with their past. Both characters emerge as heroes and become better men…

    • 1035 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    [He’d] never felt so alone, ever” (152). Being engulfed by loneliness made him realize that what he was looking for was what he had abandoned, human connection. Similarly, two days before Chris died, he noted that “HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” (189). Throughout his journey, Chris was a proponent for living life in isolation. He was an advocate of this because of the disingenuous relationship he felt he had with his father.…

    • 780 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They only visited each other on the weekends. Because he thought his parents didn’t understand him, he started to be estranged from his parents. This made Jimmy become withdrawn. Separating siblings in the divorce is a kind of lacks of family support, and that is the usual one. Those kids used to talk to their siblings, play with them, and live with them.…

    • 1054 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays