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. What sort of pagoda does the story's narrator see from just off the mouth of the river?

2. What images of the captain and Legatt does the author create?

3. What does the captain do after settling Legatt in for the night?

4. What is the profession of the mysterious man's father?

5. Until what time does the captain, in an unprecedented move, propose to take a watch himself?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the captain consumed with once on deck the morning after Legatt comes on board? What does the author use this to demonstrate?

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

3. How do Legatt and the captain communicate with each other? Why?

4. Describe the farewell conversation/interaction between the captain and Legatt.

5. How does the skipper feel about Legatt? Why was Legatt on board the Sephora?

6. Once aboard the ship, what does the captain notice about Legatt? What does he determine from Legatt's appearance and mannerisms?

7. What story does Legatt share with the captain once on board the ship? How does the captain react?

8. What is the significance of the "punishment" of Leggatt?

9. How does the chief mate of the unnamed ship refer discretely to his strange new captain, and for what reason?

10. How is the reader introduced to the Sephora? Is there any indication of the importance of the ship in the beginning of the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a character given limited attention in the text of a fictional work nonetheless plays a vital role to the plot and meaning of a story, such as Captain Archbold in The Secret Sharer. Compose an essay examining the significance of the Sephora's skipper, as he is presented through the unnamed captain's narration. What are the primary motivations of Archbold, generally speaking? How does he perceive right and wrong? How does he comport himself as a leader? What role does he play in the overall significance of the text?

Essay Topic 2

Though not a strictly metaphorical text, The Secret Sharer does, like most good literature, have a metaphorical aspect in that it conveys a deeper meaning than that which is literally presented. This relationship between the literal and the transcendent significations of the text is the relationship between vehicle and tenor. Analyzing the text of The Secret Sharer, write an essay which explicates how the transcendent meaning - the tenor - is conveyed through various imagery, circumstances, situations, and settings - the vehicle. How do the vehicles of meaning relate to the higher signification, i.e. by what means? How are the vehicle and tenor reciprocally related to one another?

Essay Topic 3

One of the primary contrasts between the pair of the Captain and Leggatt and the rest of the characters in the story is their perspectives on morality and moral judgment. The former two men attempt discernment of the rightness or wrongness, and consequent severity, by perception of the whole act, including its circumstances and intention. The latter judges according to a strict legal standard. Contrast the two perspective in a thoughtful analytical essay. Which perspective is superior, and why? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective? According to which should Leggatt's situation be judged?

(see the answer keys)

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