14 November, 1999
The Secret Sharer
This book has two main characters the Captain, who is the central main character, and Leggatt, the secret sharer, whom is the competitor, along with minor characters such as the first and second shipmates. The captain narrates the story, but he is telling the story years after it actually took place. It seems as if the character knows little about the other characters thoughts, he just tells us what he knows from his experience with them. The captain also has a certain amount of responsibility, since he has nothing to gain by taking Leggatt on board and not turning him over, but rather he has a lot to lose if Leggatt is discovered.
The story begins with a description of the geographic region and countries b describing his two shipmates. The first shipmate is obviously older and he has a beard, which is referred to often throughout the story when he is mentioned and the second shipmate who is much younger, but serious for his age. The captain does know much about his crew beyond their physical appearances and he only tells us a little about their personalities.
The rising action consists of the description of the area and the crew up to when Leggatt is taking on board. There also seems to be two different turning points. The first would be when the captain of Sephora, Archbold comes on board and gives his side of the story, while the crews of the two ships are exchanging information. This prevents the captain from passing on Leggatt as some one else and an actual discovery would be dreadful. This does not seem to be the major climax, but nonetheless it is followed by a period where the captain is just trying to keep Leggatt hidden. The major climax is the escape of Leggatt. The Captain is being confident, giving orders and taking control of his boat and his crew, when he takes the boat to close to land, in order to aid Leggatt in his swim to shore. The falling action and conclusion is the successful escape of Leggatt and the boat clearing the landmass.
The motivation for the Captain?s actions would have to be that he felt like a stranger on the boat and with the crew. He needed someone to relate to and Leggatt happened to be there at the right time. They depended on each other for companionship and much of their strength. There were also various instances of foreshadowing, such as in paragraph 7, where the Captain is explaining his thoughts of feeling out of place and says, ?I mention this because it has some bearing on what is to follow.? Another instance of foreshadowing would be all the coincidences with the Sephora and Leggatt finally asking if the Captain in paragraph 96, ?Do you think they will be round here presently?? Which is just hinting the idea that they would more than likely be by.
There were also various symbols throughout the story. One of which has to be the straw hat, which the Captain gave to Leggatt, to have after his escape, to shield him from the sun. However, the hat wound up helping the Captain clear the landmass, when it went floating by and helped him see the direction of the water. It was a symbol of both the escapes from potentially dangerous situations. Another symbol seemed to be the whiskers of the first mate. Every time something was not going well, the Captain referred to the first mate by making a reference to his whiskers.
The story was called the Secret Sharer because the Captain shared his thought with Leggatt. Even though Leggatt was a total stranger, like the rest of the boat?s crew, the Captain felt a special closeness to him and at times even called Leggatt his double.