The Secret Sharer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who tells the crew about the approaching ship at the beginning of the story?

2. What did the captain's ship represent to Legatt while he was swimming in the sea?

3. On the crew, who is the "odd ball" or the odd man out?

4. What does the captain watch leave once on board the ship?

5. Who awakens the captain the morning after he finds Legatt?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the captain of the unnamed ship describe the skipper of the Sephora?

2. What characterizes the difficulties faced by the captain on his first day of true command?

3. What is significant about the realization the captain has while planning below decks with Leggatt as to how close the ship will come to the island?

4. How does Legatt escape from his cabin aboard the Sephora? Does the author give any indication that things may not have happened this way?

5. What has contributed to the "pitiless obligation" under which the skipper of the Sephora operates?

6. Why does the captain choose to take Legatt to his quarters rather than the brig or the crew's quarters?

7. What example of dual personification does the author give in the captain's character?

8. How is the captain awakened the next morning? Why is this important?

9. For what reason might it be, as the captain claims near the end of Part I, that being conscious of his divided mind is worse than being mad?

10. What danger lies in taking the ship as close as possible to the islands the ship is approaching?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Part of what enables the captain and Leggatt to get away with the latter's escape is the captain's play upon the notion of societal norms of behavior and eccentric deviation. Compose an analytical essay on this theme of eccentricity. What does it mean to be eccentric? What is required for something to be considered eccentric? How does the captain superficially display eccentricities according to his position on the ship? How does the rest of the crew react to these bizarre patterns of behavior? How does this aid the cause of Leggatt's escape?

Essay Topic 2

The eminent theme of The Secret Sharer is the self-sacrificial nature of the captain on behalf of Leggatt. Compose an analytical essay examining the manner in which the captain offers himself up for the sake of another. What is a sacrifice? What characterizes a sacrificial action? What does the captain offer as a sacrifice for the sake of Leggatt? Why does the captain offer himself up as he does? What characterizes his willingness to serve the good of the other? Is his a perfect act? Why or why not? Is the goodness of the action effected at all by the fact that no consummation of sacrifice was made? What is the significance of the captain's intent as regards his willingness to self-sacrifice? What is it about this sacrifice that is inherently recognizable as noble and good?

Essay Topic 3

There is overwhelming evidence throughout the story that the captain feels a special kinship to Legatt. By the end of the story, it is clear that Legatt also feels appreciation and camaraderie toward the captain. What evidence does the author give the reader of this? Give specific examples.

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