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According to Merrion-Webster Inc Dictionary a doppelgnger is a double an often ghostly or evil counterpart to a character It comes from the German language doppel- double -gnger goer It might be asked What does a doppelgnger have to do with a paper on Joseph Conrad The answer is a lot especially if Conrads The Secret Sharer is being discussed In this short story the two characters the captain and Leggatt share many similarities as well as differences When comparing the similarities and differences they can be used to show the duality between the captain and Leggatt Conrad used Leggatt as a doppelgnger to help the captain come terms with himself In 1880 Conrad was part of the crew of the Cutty Sark On this ship Sidney Smith killed a black man John Francis The captain of the Cutty Sark secretly helped Smith to an American ship the Colorado Four days later Smith committed suicide Daleski 171 Smith had not wanted to be tried for his murder This experience is particularly interesting when one compares it to Conrads short story The Secret Sharer Conrad directly used his knowledge of the occurrences aboard the Cutty Sark for that particular story The Secret Sharer is a psychological masterpiece that dramatizes the act of sympathetic identification with an outlaw Also it deals with the achievement of self-mastery when the secret self is exorcised Graver 150 In it the character Leggatt is the embodiment of the captains personality yet he is not any higher or lower than the captain Hes only different He is one side to a double-sided coin In the story the captain of a ship discovers a man named Leggatt Leggatt had committed murder on the Sephora on which he was first mate Not wanting to face a trial he escaped The captain and Leggatt form an immediate bond Conrad 702 Comparing the two they are both of the same stature same background The
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