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What are the symbols of the story, "The Secret Sharer"?  

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mannool1410 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:15 PM via web

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What are the symbols of the story, "The Secret Sharer"?

 

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:22 PM (Answer #1)

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The main symbols in the The Secret Sharer are as follow:

  • the captain represents the Ego;
  • Capt. Archbold represents the Super-ego
  • Leggatt represents the Id
  • the sea (above water is the Ego; below water are the Superego and Id)
  • bad dreams, secrets (subconscious desires)
  • sharer (talk as therapy, reveals private desires, confession)
  • colors (white, black, blue: indicative of mood, feelings, morality, desires)
  • heads: the white hat, captain’s hat, headless corpse
  • the captain’s state room (a closet that hides secrets)
  • the boat’s community (represents the public, society)
  • the island (represents the individual, isolation)
  • reflections, mirrors, mistaken identity (everyone is a double, doppelganger, foil)

 

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