Why don't the crew members want Charlotte to join them at first?

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

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Hello! You asked about 'The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.' The crew members are initially suspicious of Charlotte. Prior to Charlotte's offering to join the crew, she unwittingly informs Captain Jaggery about a planned mutiny by the ship's crew. Her trusting nature compels her to trust the dignified but deceptively proper captain of the ship. She does not find out until later that he is a cruel task-master. Because he initially offers her his protection, she trusts in his promises.

When Captain Jaggery gets wind of the potential mutiny, he is furious. He shoots dead Mr. Cranick, a former crew member who he abused on the last voyage. When he demands that the second in command to Mr. Cranick also be punished, all the crew members refuse to incriminate one of their own. Captain Jaggery even asks Charlotte to pick the person to be punished, but she refuses. In the end, Captain Jaggery settles on Zachariah. He beats Zachariah to death and Charlotte is sick with the injustice of it all. When the captain angrily withdraws his protection and friendship from Charlotte, she decides that she will join the crew, particularly as Captain Jaggery has required all crew members to work extra shifts to cover for the loss of crew membersĀ  (Mr. Cranick and Zachariah).

She tells the men that she will help with the workload if they will have her. She tells them that she now hates the captain, but they do not yet trust her intentions. After all, she is the 'informer' who brought all this suffering on all of them. Charlotte decides to try one more time after putting on the clothes that Zachariah gives her before his death. She presents her case to the whole crew on the advice of Fisk. They decide that if she can climb up to the highest mast on the ship, she will be allowed to join the crew. She does so and is finally welcomed as a crew member by the men.

Thanks for the question!

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