Study Guide

The Caine Mutiny Essay

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Tabitha McIntosh-Byrd is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. In the following essay, she analyzes Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny as a 'hostile text'-a novel that resists critical and analytic interpretive strategies.

The Caine Mutiny opens with a textual artifact- a page torn from the book of Navy Regulations which contains the articles relating to relief of a commanding officer. It closes with another- the "torn paper" of parade confetti which "brushed the face of the last captain of the Caine." Between these ripped paper bookends lies a densely intertextual work which is layered with deliberate echoes of a multitude of canonical texts-the most obvious being The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Moby-Dick, and the book of Genesis-and contains scattered references to dozens of others. Though this would seem, at first glance, to mark it as a novel that invites literary interpretation, nothing could be more...

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This section contains 1,705 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Caine Mutiny Study Guide
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The Caine Mutiny from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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