Caine Mutiny

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Novel by Herman Wouk, published in 1951. Part of the plot was dramatized by the author as The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1954).

Entering the navy as a midshipman in December 1942, Willie Keith, a wealthy, spoiled Princeton graduate, in love with a spirited nightclub singer, May Wynn, grows to manhood through his experiences in the South Pacific on the minesweeper Caine. When Philip Queeg comes aboard the wretched, filthy ship as commander he soon incurs the men's enmity because of his obsessive meticulousness, demonic orders and punishments, extreme emotional instability, and monomaniacal ambition. Tom Keefer, a clever intellectual, convinces the uneducated but loyal and capable executive officer, Steve Maryk, that Queeg is a classic paranoid. who is too sick to hold command. During a typhoon, with Willie, now officer of the deck, Maryk takes command. He is court-martialed but acquitted, thanks to his shrewd lawyer, Barney Greenwald, who reveals at a triumphal dinner that Keefer, the author of the mutiny, had lied in order to keep his own future secure. Returning to the Caine, Willie becomes executive officer under Keefer, who shows cowardice at a decisive moment, when Willie saves the ship. Keefer is discharged, Willie becomes commanding officer on the Caine's final voyage, and, the war ended, he looks forward to marriage with May and preparation for a university teaching career.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Herman Wouk (b. 1915)

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.