Free «The Secret Sharer» Essay
The Secret Sharer is a piece of literary work that presents the best lesson for the society. Leadership is a very critical part of the societal model, and it is a unique responsibility that covers many aspects of the community. The work explores how an individual can possess dualism, but only one attribute is always visible. A person can have desirable qualities that are dormant, but upon interaction with other people the potential may be unveiled. In this literature work the two key characters show the two sides of a person and the effects of interaction in shaping the identity and ability of an individual (Conrad 26). The central issue in this literary work is the hidden potential in people that can be ignited through interactions in the society.
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The story begins with an anonymous narrator, who happens to assume the role of captaincy in the ship bound to a long journey. This narrator gets the name of the captain from this moment henceforth following his new leadership position (Conrad 56). The main challenge in this case to the new captain is unrealized leadership potential and overwhelming naivety. He has a crew that seems to know more than he does, and this presents a tricky governance situation for him. It is important to note that the captain has an ability to lead this crew, but he still has little experience on how to deal with them by balancing between what should be done and ethics. The crew members tend to be resistant in some cases about his actions, but this does not dampen his spirit of standing his ground in terms of decisions. The subsequent actions of the captain give a thrilling series of interactive sessions with Leggatt, who murdered another subordinate crew in this great voyage (Conrad 41-2).
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The initial stage of the meeting of captain and Leggatt is itself unique in the sense that this is somebody, who murdered and was being sought after, but managed to slip off the hands of the authority. Leggatt stands to symbolise the determined and intelligent people in the society by swiftly devising an escape mechanism, in which he sinks his clothes to convince the other crew that he had drown. This scene presents great knowledge of literature and its deep-seated application in the societal framework. The narrator is always restless due to the miasma of confusion, in which he is wallowing. It is out of this that he stumbles on a struggling Leggatt in water and brings him to safety within his room (Conrad 128). A question that remains to be asked by many people is about the forces behind the behavior of captain. Many people, who go through this piece of art, would keep wondering whether there has been some ghost spirit influence behind the captain’s conduct.
The author of this book gives a chronological account of how captain interacts with Leggatt and the aftermath of this relationship in the eventual behavioral changes in captain. For audience with little insight into the literary world, captain may be a branded name or may be associated with many issues like being mad, possessed by a ghost spirits or whether the interactive process with the murderer explains his behavior. Various aspects of this work clearly rule out the influence of the evil spirits in the actions of captain. However, the murderer presents the best opportunity for captain to unravel his potential, and this keeps appalling the crew, as they do not see him walking with anybody that may be claimed to have a role in his behavior (Conrad 44). Due to the legal battle awaiting Leggatt after he committed murder, captain offers him safe hideout within the ship but they keep exchanging ideas often when they are alone.
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To support the fact that any dark spirits do not influence captain, his steady actions needs to be observed across the narration. In this story, it is clear that Leggatt has killed a crewmember after failing to comply with his demand for help to repair the ship. This bold step presents an intriguing twist of bravery and inhumanity. The main cause of this action was to save the voyage, while, on the other hand, murdering was not ethical in an attempt to make one understand. It is important to note that this is a complete opposite behavior of captain, who seemingly treads in total confusion on how to approach various matters. It is very evident that captain, who just assumed this responsibility two weeks before narrating this story, is timid and totally out of phase in terms of managing the crew (Conrad 38). Captain is rational, but this is not a very important factor in some circumstances in the arena of leadership. This ideological incompatibility explains why the two interact with massive reformation of captain, in terms of how to lead others to their destination with real authority, and to instill confidence in people about his decisions. Captain believes in straightforward and refine mode of sailing the ship, but he fails to understand the psychological technicality of the crew in some circumstances, and this is where Leggatt becomes important to make some sense out of his conservatism and civilized way of leadership. It is in this regard that after Leggatt explains the circumstances, under which he unintentionally committed murder, that captain sees the truth about flexibility in leadership (Conrad 87). Captain realizes that in cases of immediate need emergent but bitter decisions need to be taken. This change of mind is manifested in the way he changes tact in dealing with the crew, as they sail, and they fail to understand the mystery behind the sudden new development. This makes them think that captained is being controlled by some invisible powers. In real sense, it is the gradual interactive talks between captain and Leggatt that has caused this new trend of action.
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In the position of leadership, one is always vested with powers to influence behavior, which in turn, induce particular actions. This explains why a leader will always be held accountable to all his actions and the actions of the subjects (Conrad 77). This is what Leggatt was seemingly considering by unintentionally murdering one person in order to save the other majority at a point, where immediate action was required. It is seen in the actions of Leggatt that in some circumstances, rules and regulations have to be bent. This is due to the uncertainty of nature and the unpredictable behavior of human beings leading to the proactive measures by an effective leadership. The point of madness is completely not true, and the only conclusion that can be observed from the conduct of captain is the normal reaction of any leader in the course of self-discovery. The difference in this case is that another person initiates this. Captain is also trapped in the normal psychological realignment that always occurs in any person, especially by coming into contact with another individual, who happens to have been in similar circumstances (Conrad 101). It is not in order to attribute the radical changes in captain’s way of executing his decisions to any demon or insanity, since they ended up shaping the destiny of the journey. The reason, as to why somebody may ask whether captain was being driven by demons, is the truth, whether Leggatt was real or an evil spirit from the sea.
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The Secret Sharer shows the importance of interaction as one of the best avenues of personality development. The reality of the ideas passed by the murderer can be seen in the actions of Captain, and this is a clear justification of the mortality of Leggatt. The account of saving Sephora is particularly important in revealing the identity of Leggatt, and this rules out any perception that he was a spirit from the waters. Besides, captain used to hide him from being discovered, a case that could not have been possible if this was a ghost. The point being driven home in this case is that invisible evil forces initiated not all the actions of captain. This book presents the best tools of literature, including symbolism and thematic description of various scenes (Conrad 98). Leggatt is an ordinary human being, who only represents another class of leaders, who are irrational in their actions, but have a rare kind of bravery. In other words, this has been used as a symbolism in order to strengthen the message being conveyed in this work. The systematic actions of captain demystify any possible thought of association with a demon or being mad.
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In conclusion, captain is going through a normal transformation in terms of leadership skills. This he acquired naturally through his gradual interaction with a murderer, who happens to have been a leader with experience on how to handle different situations. As they continued operating in secret, the formerly timid and naïve narrator, turned captain, began to gain knowledge, on how to manage the crew. This makes the whole story reflect the reality of the society. This literary piece acts as the mirror of what actually takes place in the society, and this makes it look authentic that the behavior of Captain is not exceptional.