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. To what infamous killer does the stranger relate himself as in the thoughts of the skipper's wife?

2. What does the steward do with the door to the captain's room after first visiting him in the morning?

3. What did the stranger see that he decided to swim towards?

4. What keeps the captain from sleeping the night they see a strange ship approaching?

5. From where has the mysterious man directly come?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the captain bring the skipper to his state room? What does he tell the skipper? Why?

2. Briefly, how does the narrator describe the setting of the Gulf of Siam, in which the story opens?

3. What happened to Legatt as a result of the murder he is accused of committing? Does the author give any indication that this is out of the ordinary? Why or why not?

4. What does the captain do after telling the crew to turn in without an anchor watch? Why is this significant?

5. How does the captain describe his own situation aboard the unnamed ship in speaking to the stranger?

6. Why does Leggatt say that it is wonderful the captain understands his plight and desires?

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

8. Trace the outlines of the captain's plan for Leggatt's escape from the ship.

9. What happens when the captain comes in contact with the chief mate on deck the morning after Legatt comes on board? Why does he feel this way?

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

We often think of politics in relation to governments. However, there are often workplace politics. What was the political structure of a typical ship's crew during the time period in which the story is set? What factors or situations in the book impact the ship's politics? Describe the events and their impact on the politics between ships and between members of the crew.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the situation in which Legatt is almost discovered. Why is this a crucial part of the story, even though Legatt is not actually found?

Essay Topic 3

Part of what distinguishes the unnamed captain and Leggatt from the rest of the characters in the book is that they are eminently competent at what they are doing. Compose an essay which analyzes the contrasts between the captain and Leggatt with the rest of the characters, insofar as the former two demonstrate an excellence of ability and the latter do not. In what realms of activity are the two men superior to the others? What words and actions demonstrate this superiority? What is troublesome about the incompetence of the other characters, such as the Sephora's skipper or the unnamed ship's chief mate?

(see the answer keys)

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