Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews February 27, 2024
February 20, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
A reporter and the central character of the story. The correspondent is presumably young and able-bodied, given that he shares rowing duties with the oiler. The correspondent is also, by virtue of his profession, inclined to be cynical of men. He is pleasantly surprised to find his heart warmed by the brotherhood that he and the crew have formed in the boat. Several times, the correspondent curses nature and the gods who rule the sea and wonders whether he is really meant to drown.
Read an in-depth analysis of The Correspondent
The captain of the ship, injured when the ship floods. The captain is calm and quiet, talking for the most part only to give directions and lead the crew to shore. The captain commands complete authority, and although he does not take part in keeping the dinghy afloat, he bears the full responsibility of getting everyone to safety. He is always alert and cool-headed, even when it looks as though he might be sleeping.
Read an in-depth analysis of The Captain
The ship’s cook, who maintains a positive, even naïve, outlook on the men’s rescue. The cook is the first to suggest the presence of a lifesaving station and cannot help but turn his mind to the simple pleasures of living on land, such as his favorite pies and meats. Although he is not fit enough to help with the rowing, the cook makes himself useful by bailing water.
The only refugee from the ship to die in the final attempt at reaching land. Before the ship sank, the oiler worked a double watch in the engine room, and he is most likely to be exhausted in the dinghy. The oiler is staunch, obedient to the captain, and generous and polite to the correspondent whenever he is asked to row. The oiler also seems to be the most realistic of the men, never losing sight of the task at hand or the slim chance they have of surviving.
Read an in-depth analysis of The Oiler (Billie)