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The Caine Mutiny

Key Facts

Main ideas 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