True Bond Between Men Essay

2247 Words Nov 25th, 2013 9 Pages
The True Bond Between Men

As human beings we are forced to accept the inevitability of being confronted with situations that test our ethical bounds and character. In the middle of a moral conflict we become lost in thought and make decisions based on intuition with the belief that it will guide us to ethical ground. However, we cannot always be morally correct where we must revisit our past to examine whether our choices were correct. Being torn between what is moral and immoral arises in the story The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad. Conrad presents a moral conflict between the Captain who remains unnamed, and an escaped criminal, Leggatt. By observing the choices and the thoughts of the captain, we can try to evaluate whether his
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Phelan analyzes the captain’s first sight of Leggatt and how it supposedly shows the “sexual undertones” of the text shown by the Captain describing the event.
… I saw at once something elongated and pale floating very close to the ladder. Before I cold form a guess a faint flash of phosphorescent light, which seemed to issue suddenly from the naked body of a man, flickered in the sleeping water with the elusive silent play of summer lightning in a night sky. (Conrad, 28)

Phelan goes on to say that “the captains gaze follows the line of Leggatt’s naked body from foot to neck” but contrary to this statement anyone who would see a body floating in the ocean would examine it for any signs of life (Conrad, 28). One may look to see if there are any signs of life or if there appears to be any injuries on the body floating in the water. The captain does this saying, “[I] leaned over the rail as far as I could, to bring my eyes nearer to that mystery floating alongside” (Conrad, 29). The captain further takes moral action and helps Leggatt on board the ship prior to his knowledge of Leggatt’s crime. There is no attraction in the situation, but rather a humane act of helpfulness.
Another scene where Phelan states that there is a mutual sexual attraction and that the captain seeks the longing of Leggatt is when the Captain must make things seem

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