In the short story “The Secret Sharer” by Joseph Conrad, the captain of the ship, the Colorado, changes from an insecure and inexperienced ship captain to a more confident and secure individual, due to his experiences with the Secret Sharer. At first, the captain is not sure of his place on the ship and does not feel right about being in charge. Through his relationship with the Secret Sharer, the captain finds identity and becomes a confident person.
In the beginning of the story, the captain is very uneasy when he is thrown into the position of captain of a ship travelling on a long and arduous journey. The captain begins to feel insecure about running his ship and questions his ability to lead his ship. During one of the first nights on board the ship, the captain demonstrates his thoughts of insecurity and self-consciousness when he does something that a captain would not normally do: he plans to take part in the night watch. “I felt painfully that I - a stranger - was doing something unusual when I directed him to let all hands turn in without setting an anchor watch” (941). The captain is so self-conscious and insecure about his actions that he reacts almost painfully to the crew’s judgement of his orders. He also states that he perceives himself to be a stranger amongst the others. Among his insecurities, the captain also sees himself as a stranger to himself and not fit to run his ship. The captain thinks, “But what I felt most was my being a stranger to the ship; and if all the truth must be told, I was somewhat of a stranger to myself. The youngest man on board (barring the second mate), and untried as yet by a position of the fullest responsibility, I was willing to take the adequacy of the others for granted” (940). The captain is young and does not feel he really knows himself. This insecurity leads him to believe he is not fit to lead others if he... [continues]
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