An Analysis On The Caine Mutiny

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's November 2001

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ANALSYIS ON THE CAINE MUTINY "A Captain's job is a lonely one, and misunderstood." Perhaps vulnerable Captain Queeg summed up his doomed nature and own demise best by that one line. Yes, some may have misunderstood him as a Captain all right but the majority of the story deals with Captain Queeg's misunderstanding of his own self, role, situation, and as an effective delegator of authority. The Caine Mutiny was released in 1954, directed by Edward Dmytryk, and based largely off a novel of the same name by Herman Wouk. It involves the following of a certain "momma's boy" Ensign Keith as he makes the transition from Princeton University and naval school to the harsh reality of war aboard a weathered mine-sweeping rusty ship named the U.S.S. Caine with an undisciplined and sloppy crew to say the least. While first aboard, Ensign Keith is subordinate to Captain DeVriess, a lax and unusual Naval Captain.

The crew seemed to mimic and follow Captain Devriess's style, as they were quite careless and facetious daily in their attitude toward daily activities and duties. The Executive Officer of the ship, Lieutenant Maryk is an honest and righteous officer, a true naval man who finds himself stuck in a rock and a hard place as he crumbles under the manipulation and coercive influence of Communications Head, Lieutenant Tom Keefer. Lieutenant Keefer, a cynical man who preaches dissension in just about every part of the story, is an avid writer who leads the underlying effort to align the crew against Captain Queeg.

First, let's analyze the position of Captain Queeg. His troubles with regards to motivating, leading, and controlling his subordinates rears its ugly head several times during the story. If we take the ship and its crew and view it as a...