The Ionian Mission Themes

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Isolation of Command

Aubrey, the protagonist, commands two ships during the novel—Worcester and Surprise. Both are ships in the Royal Navy and as such are run with a great deal of rigor and a highly formalized command structure. Aubrey, as captain, is responsible for all actions taken by his ship and is responsible to ensure his ship is in fighting order. In order to instill a sense of unbending discipline, Aubrey does not fraternize with his men or officers and instead stands apart as the unapproachable captain. This approach to command was typical for the Royal Navy during the period discussed by the novel. Just as Aubrey does not fraternize with his subordinates, so the Admirals commanding Aubrey do not overmuch fraternize with him. He thus finds himself isolated though surrounded by others. This isolation is echoed by Aubrey's friend Heneage Dundas during their several conversations&mdash...

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This section contains 736 words
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