The Secret Sharer Coming Out Analysis

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While reading The Secret Sharer, I saw many parallels between the struggles the two main characters faced and the idea of “passing” and putting on a masquerade to mask who you really are. In our society, often times there are disadvantages associated with “coming out”. It used to be that if a black woman with lighter skin “came out” as being black, she would not have the same opportunities as a white woman. If someone in the LGBTQ community “comes out”, they are likely to face prejudice. Although the character in The Secret Sharer, Mr. Leggatt, hides and conceals his identity for his own safety, still today people hide who they are in fear of the possible repercussions affecting their well being. In the beginning of the story, we get the impression that the speaker is not well liked. Although he is the captain, he admits his “position was that of the only stranger on board” (Conrad, 84). I interpreted this to mean that being different than everyone else was his identity. He was seen as an outcast, which is the fear many people have before “coming out”. Because he was a stranger and new to those around him, everyone was constantly watching and criticizing him. This reminded me of the pressure we have discussed felt by people in the LGBTQ community after “coming out”. I thought of the lesbian that “came out” and immediately started dressing to fit the stereotype. She was always very feminine, but started dressing…show more content…
Like the captain and his double, people who are different are made to feel like outcasts. Even though those outside the “norm” can form their own tight knit communities, there are many cases where people “pass” or hide who they really are because people may treat them differently. Although it’s not exactly the same as in the story because Mr. Leggatt would be imprisoned, the stress that comes with concealing something still weighs just as
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