Captains Courageous Take Home Final


Captains Courageous Take Home Final – Complete Before Starting Literary Analysis Paper

Meaning of Captains Courageous Title:

Where did the title Captains Courageous come from?

Why do you think Kipling chose it?

To Read Kipling’s NY Times Article published as Captains Courageous before he wrote his novel by the same name, please see:

The Liner Passengers

What do they represent?

What do they say about Harvey—about America’s upcoming generation?

Disko Troop (Discobolus)

List 5 character traits:






What is his immediate family like?

What do Captains do?


What is Disko known and respected for?


What does he want to make away from the influence of the “mixed gathering”?


What might this mixed gathering represent?


How could his “experiments” relate to America’s foundation?


What is Kipling calling America back to?


Where is Disko from?  Is there anything significant about that area?


From whom did he learn his trade?


What deeper meaning does this have?


What might this be saying about the “East”?


How does this relate to his message to America?


Harvey Cheyne Sr.

List 4 character traits:





How did he rise to the top?


Where is the center of his business located?


What did you learn about Kipling’s impression of the American west from his American Notes?


How does Cheyne relate to Kipling’s message of warning to the “West”?


What do you think Cheyne symbolizes? Why?


How does Cheyne Sr. change?  What message is Kipling trying to send through this?


Harvey Cheyne Jr.

Of what does Kipling imply Harvey Jr.  is a product?


(What did some of the liner passengers say about him?


—what does he need in their opinion?


What changes Harvey?


What spiritual picture does his plunge into the sea, his rescue and change symbolize?


What does he learn from Disko and working on We’re Here?


What do he and Dan symbolize?


Dan Troop 

What do you like most about Dan?


Does his character say anything about  America and her possibility?


What does his future say about/to America?


Pennsylvania Pratt

What was Penn before the tragedy?


What’s Penn like most of the time now?


What happened to him?


When does he shine in the story?


What relationship do you see between this scene and the Church through out history?       What warning or message could the Christian Community in America take from this?


Who keeps him from returning to his congregation and keeps him from preaching the Word?  Why?


Who or what do you think his character symbolizes?


What message do you think he is sending to that institution?


Uncle Salters

What is Uncle Salters known for aboard the We’re Here?


Is he a uniter or a divider?  (What does he think of other denominations?)


Could Uncle Salters represent Uncle Sam? How? Why?  (see p. 93)


When Penn goes back to forgetting who he is, who is he subservient to?


Is Penn any good to anyone then?


How about the Church?


What was Salters reaction when he thought he’d lost “Penn” and Jacob Boller had returned?  Why? (p.91-92)


Remember how he thought Old Ollie had made his son an idol and that was why his son was taken.   Is Uncle Salters a self-righteous, false prophet?  Is there any other evidence of this?


Do you think he is telling some truth and America is in danger because she’s made her children idols?  What do you think Kipling had in mind when he included this?


What do you think Uncle Salters stands for in the book?       Does his name sound like anything familiar?       What does his character recite on Sundays?       In what ways could these be hints?


Cook (Doc)

After reading “The White Man’s Burden” and its introduction what do you think the ending of C. C. means?


 Manuel What message do you think Manuel’s character might be sending?


Why do you think Kipling had Manuel be the one to rescue Harvey?


(Could it be that Kipling was raised until age 6 by a Portuguese Catholic Nanny? Can you find any other personal reason Kipling might make this choice?  Any reason based on elements of the story.)

 Tom Platt (navy man)

What’s Kipling’s opinion of America’s Navy?


What does he think of our coasts?


Long Jack

Why is he included as part of the crew?


Fishing Fleet/Towns on water

What do the Grand Banks fishing fleet or “towns on water” represent?


 The We’re Here

What kind of boat is she?


What are some of We’re Here’s characteristics?


What values do she and Disko represent?


Is she the future or the past?


Which do you think Kipling wishes she was?


What is one of Kipling’s main messages to America that he is sending through these two?       How do you know?     (back it up with quotes or summaries from the book)



Why does Kipling include all the talk about anchors? See bottom of p.92


What do they symbolize?  What boats are known for slipping their anchor?  What message does that sent?


Do you think any of the other fishing boats mentioned in the story have any particular significance?  If so, what?



What are these?


Why does Dan want one?


Why does Disko not want anything to do with them? p.64


Why do people turn to them?


What does this say about America’s direction?


What did “progressive” probably mean to Kipling?       What did “progressive” mean in the 19th Century?


How are the toothpicks “progressive”?


Railroads, Ocean Liners & Tea Clippers

What do these symbolize?


How is Kipling calling America to use her resources and influence?


What was significant about Harvey falling off of an ocean liner?       What happened with an ocean liner later in the story?        What did Disco say about neighbors and courtesy and big boats?       Why did he expect more from the powerful boats?       What message was Kipling sending through that?



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1 Response to Captains Courageous Take Home Final

  1. Pingback: Captains Courageous Assignment Overview and Due Dates | Literature Discovery

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