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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle


by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Rules and Order Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"I have no desire to speak to any of you again," the captain continued. "Mr. Hollybrass here, as first mate, shall be my voice. So too, Mr. Keetch as second mate. Separation makes for an honest crew. An honest crew makes a fair voyage. A fair voyage brings a profit, and profit, my good gentleman, doth turn the world. (3.38)

In Captain Jaggery's first speech to the crew of the Seahawk, he forcefully outlines the chain of command that the men must follow. He also, however, reveals what it is that this orderly system of rules is built upon: cash money! That's right, profit makes the world go round, and all of the captain's rules are in place to ensure that the Seahawk's voyage is as profitable as possible, even if that means risking others' lives. Needless to say, Captain Jaggery's orderly system is driven mainly by greed.

Quote #2

No, we shall have no democracy here. No parliaments. No congressmen. There's but one master on this ship, and that is me. (3.39)

Judging by his word choice (e.g., "parliament," "democracy," "congressmen"), Captain Jaggery recognizes that a ship is governed much like a nation. However, the government Jaggery proposes is not one of the people, by the people, or for the people. The captain declares instead that he's the master, and hence the only one running the show. Despotism, it is!

Quote #3

"A ship, Miss Doyle...is a nation of its own."

"Mr. Zachariah..."

"The nations of the earth, Miss Doyle, they have kings and emperors..."

"And presidents," I added, loyal American that I was.

"Yes, and presidents. But when a ship is upon the sea, there's but one who rules. As God is to his people, as king to his nation, as father to his family, so is captain to his crew. Sheriff. Judge and jury. He is all." (4.26-4.30)

Zachariah explains that Captain Jaggery's form of rule is all-inclusive. He's like a king and a father, sure, but he's also the sheriff, the judge, and the jury of the ship. Is it dangerous to invest only one person with all of this power? Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

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