The Secret Sharer Questions and Answers
by Joseph Conrad

The Secret Sharer book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why does the narrator refer to Leggatt as "my other self"? Describe how the narrator and Leggatt are similar.

Expert Answers info

amy-lepore eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write3,513 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

The narrator is referring to Leggatt as his alter ego--everything he wishes he could be but is not.  The captain is only 27-years old, a young man to be in charge of men who are older and much more experienced than himself. The captain identifies with Leggatt, and through this identification he achieves a greater self-definition. The exact nature of the connection between the captain and Leggatt, however, is not clear. Leggatt has killed a man and is fleeing to escape punishment, but he may have committed this act in order to save his fellow crewmembers from danger. Through Leggatt, the captain becomes a stronger and more aggressive leader, but he also shows signs of instability.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial