struck for the light?

‘I struck for the light, but as soon as he turned the corner I went back and got into my skiff and bailed her out, and then pulled up shore in the easy water about six hundred yards, and tucked myself in among some wood-boats.‘

What does “struck for the light” mean here, please?

It could mean ‘ignited something to get light’ like ‘lighting a match’, ‘firing a shot’ etc.

I think you are right. Thank you very much.

Hello Ksguo,
Anglophile is very wide of the mark, I’m afraid. It does not mean what has been suggested.

I struck for the light’ here means ‘I struck (out) for the light’ He headed in the direction of the light.

Oh, l am somewhat confused. who is right?After consulting my dictionary more carefully, I decide your explanation makes more sense. Thank you.

Hi Ksguo,

You might be interested in a passage from ‘Prelude to Poetry’ by William Wordsworth, the poet where he uses the word ‘struck’ as a forceful movement forward in rowing in a boat.

One summer evening (led by her) I found
A little Boat tied to a Willow-tree
Within a rocky cave, its usual home.
Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in
Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice
Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on,
Leaving behind her still, on either side,
Small circles glittering idly in the moon,
Until they melted all into one track
Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows,
(Proud of his skill) to reach a chosen point
With an unswerving line, I fixed my view
Upon the summit of a craggy ridge,
The horizon’s utmost boundary; far above
Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.
She was an elfin Pinnace; lustily
I dipped my oars into the silent lake,
And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat
Went heaving through the Water like a swan;
When, from behind that craggy Steep till then
The horizon’s bound, a huge peak, black and huge,
As if with voluntary power instinct,
Upreared its head.—I struck and struck again,
And growing still in stature the grim Shape
Towered up between me and the stars, and still,
For so it seemed, with purpose of its own
And measured motion like a living Thing,
Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,
And through the silent water stole my way
Back to the Covert of the Willow-tree;
There in her mooring-place I left my Bark,—
And through the meadows homeward went, in grave
And serious mood; but after I had seen
That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Worked with a dim and undetermined sense
Of unknown modes of being; o’er my thoughts
There hung a darkness, call it solitude
Or blank desertion. No familiar Shapes
Remained, no pleasant images of trees,
Of sea or Sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty Forms, that do not live
Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.

I’m sure that Alan’s introduction of a third definition won’t help resolve your confusion. Perhaps he misread the context or possibly he was just aiming to extend your knowledge even further.

In this case, the character wasn’t in a boat when he ‘struck (out) for the light’ (he was walking. He only turned and headed back to the boat (the skiff) once the other person had gone).
The definition I provided is absolutely as Mark Twain, the author, intended.