The Secret Sharer Paperback
Part of the Dover Thrift Editions series
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
- Publication Date: 01/07/1993
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780486275468
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Review by DieFledermaus
A short story by Conrad. Since it’s Conrad, naturally takes place on a ship. Still, a lot of interesting things going on. Outwardly, it’s the story of a young captain leading a ship of strangers, unsure in his command. On watch one night, he sees something odd – a man in the water. The captain pulls him up and learns his story – in command of another ship, but was put in the brig for killing an insubordinate man during a storm. They have an instant connection – both alienated from crew, ship their responsibility, even went to the same school back in Britain. The narrator agrees to hide him in his cabin. Because of their similiarities (the fugitive even look similar wearing his clothes) he refers to his as his double. Soon after, the double’s crew comes on board looking for him but the narrator’s indifference and confidence trick them. The double is his secret sharer in all things – room, clothes, food. However, the captain is paranoid with the thought that his own crew will discover the man. Although the story is about a fugitive and his attempt to hide on the narrator’s ship, the deeper meaning involves the narrator’s fear over his role as the captain. With the double representing fear, it moves from the initial ship – during a storm – over to the narrator’s ship. His double inspires paranoia in the captain and nervousness among the crew members from the other ship when they board. When the double leaves the ship, he is able to confidently steer it away from disaster.