Secret Sharer

Disentangling the Twins of Conrad’s Psyche 12th Grade

Disentangling the Twins of Conrad’s Psyche

Joseph Conrad spoke such truth about the inner working of humankind when he said through his character Razumov in Under Western Eyes, “A man's most open actions have a secret side to them” (pt. 1, ch. 2). This would become a ghostly introduction to his next work The Secret Sharer published a year later. Joyce Carol Oats says in the introduction of the text that “the young captain is the ‘head,’ the consciousness; and the romantic fugitive Leggatt the ‘body,’ the physical being” (13; introd.). Nevertheless, with a more detailed exploration, the characters, in fact, play opposite roles. Conrad has created a wonderfully detailed portrait of the inner self through a doppelganger relationship representing the philosophy of opposition of self: the ego (the captain) and the id (Leggatt). It can be agreed on when Oats does say that Conrad is “a master of the psychological novel” (7; introd.). Conrad shows his own thoughts about the duality of man through a compelling story of a young captain stumbling upon a terrible secret. However, the story goes beyond a simple tale of mystery. It is a commentary on a stranger in a sea of inexperience who must reach out to find the sharer of secrets, an...

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