The Secret Sharer By: Joseph Conrad Major Themes: The Captains White Floppy Hat: At the end of the book, is a symbol of good, of the captains pity and mercy for “his other self”
Represents the physical parting of the captain and Leggatt, who have throughout the story focused into one.
The pinnacle of this language and the captain’s identification with his secret self: when he justifies giving the hat to Leggatt he says “I saw myself wondering barefoot, bareheaded, the sun beating on my dark poll. I snatched off my floppy hat and tried hurriedly in the dark to ram it on my other sel.”
Leaving the hat is significant, because it symbolizes the parting between the two.
Sleeping Suits: Represents the place where the darks selves and the self communication
Color gray father emphasizes the gray area where the conscious and the subconscious meet.
They clothe the two identically.
The association with the night also emphasizes the darker self or the subconscious that Leggatt represents. Leggatt: Scorpion: Dangerous, comes from the places that are far removed from the boat, hides in cabin.
Symbolizes the future intrusion of Leggat within the captain’s cabin. The mate’s speculation concerning the scorpion, however, can also be appealed to Leggatt – it is not that he has chosen specifically the captain, but he is a more universal symbol of the subconscious and darker self that plagues everyone, everywhere. Captain Archbold: Represents the law and the irony between doing what is right and obeying the law.
His unwillingness to flexible concerning the extenuating circumstances around the murder that Leggatt commits shows the difference between law and doing what is right. Nameless Captain and Ship: Symbolic of the universality of the tale.
The captain is every man.
The ship is the journey that everyman...