Search Menu

The Caine Mutiny

Herman Wouk


Key Facts

full title ·  The Caine Mutiny

author · Herman Wouk

type of work · Fiction

genre · World War II historical fiction

language · English

time and place written · 1949, New York and at sea, aboard the USS Saipan

date of first publication · 1951

publisher · Doubleday & Company

narrator · Willie Keith

point of view · Third person limited omniscient

tone · Humorous; journalistic

tense · Present

setting (time) · 1942–1945

setting (place) · New York, San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, and various islands of the South Pacific, but primarily aboard the D.M.S. Caine

protagonist · Willie Keith

major conflict · A competent crew opposes the command of an incompetent and possibly insane captain

rising action · The events of Queeg's captainship elicit increasing disgust from his crew

climax · The mutiny against Queeg

falling action · The court-martial of Queeg

themes ·  The maturation of Willie Keith; the conflict between regular and reserve Navies; a war of perspectives

motifs ·  Awakenings; meals; renewal

symbols ·  Queeg's metal balls; Keefer's novel; Willie's hat

foreshadowing ·  Queeg's increasing seclusion; the near-reporting of Queeg at the New Jersey

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!