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. In what Gulf is the narrator's ship anchored at the story's beginning?

2. What does the captain believe he sees floating in the sea very close to the ladder?

3. To where does the captain initially send the mysterious man as the former's watch is drawing to a close?

4. What is the name of the river from which the ship has just left at the story's beginning?

5. What shape is the captain's stateroom?

Short Essay Questions

1. What important differences are there between the captain and his crew? Why are they important?

2. What characterizes the attitudes of the crew as their captain evidently leads them towards an idiotic doom?

3. What characterizes the account of the stranger's escape from the Sephora to the unnamed ship?

4. What does Legatt do once he is in the water? Why?

5. For what reason does the captain issue his order for all hands to go to sleep while he himself takes the watch alone?

6. What does the captain derive from the sincerely considered alternatives the mysterious man weighs?

7. What is significant about Leggatt's rebuttal of the Sephora's skipper's account of the setting of the reefed foresail?

8. What induces a state of self-possession in the captain while he faces the mysterious man in the water?

9. How does the captain arouse the suspicion of his steward?

10. How does the captain's floppy hat save the ship?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A major theme of the book, though not directly articulated, is that of the difference between prudence and imprudence, and the essentiality of the former to justice. Compose an analytical essay which examines the various situations of The Secret Sharer into which prudential assessment plays a role. Why is prudence so important to the situation? In what way does imprudence cause trouble for those involved? How does prudence achieve the proper end? What is the relationship between prudence and justice?

Essay Topic 2

Compose an analytical essay concerning the manner in which the unnamed captain and Leggatt are complementary and parallel to one another. What are their fundamental similarities? What unites them? What characterizes their unity and their companionship with one another? In what ways are they different? What characterizes the nature of their differences? How do the differences of each cohere with the other's? What is the end result of this cohesion? Why do they work well together? How do they achieve their end?

Essay Topic 3

When the captain is on deck giving orders for the first time to move the boat forward, he remarks about the sensations of a man who is feeling a ship move under his command for the very first time. He then remarks, "I was not wholly alone with my command; for there was that stranger in my cabin. Or rather, I was not completely and wholly with her. Part of me was absent. That mental feeling of being in two places at once affected me physically as if the mood of secrecy had penetrated my very soul." What does this comment mean? What sentiments is the author trying to portray?

(see the answer keys)

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