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Convergence of the Twain Analysis

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Njeri Muhia Mrs. Muthama Literature 12 November 2011 Convergence of the Twain Critical Analysis ? Not even God can sink this ship? ?is the infamous line that refers to the Titanic, one of the largest most immaculate man made inventions of its time, and the catastrophic accident that led to its sinking has been a historical bookmark, noted for decades. Thomas Hardy?s perception to this disaster is rather pessimistic; creating a sense that fate was destined to cause the failure of Titanic. Hardy presents a philosophical poem about fate?s inevitability and indifference through the eyes of nature, portraying the disaster by presenting the accident as a sinister sexual meeting between these two lovers?the Titanic and ?a Shape of Ice?. The title of the poem alone demonstrates that this catastrophe was planned in advance, a dramatic sensual meeting. The use of such a title lends itself to the interpretation that this disaster was meant to happen, and was something that destiny, ?the Spinner of the Years? had planned. This is further developed in the diction that hardy uses in this poem. The two were ?intimate?, their history had already been developed and determined; they were to be ?weld[ed]? together, to be one another?s ?sinister mate?. ...read more.


?Pyre? is a word definitely associated with death and funeral rites, where as ?salamandrine? and ?fires? both have connotations to death as well, and the end of matter. These descriptions create an ominous mood to the ship and of its imminent meeting with the iceberg. Hardy?s disapproval to technology, development and modernization is evident not only in other poems such as Where the Picnic Was and The Darkling Thrush but is also evident in this one, and he uses the catastrophe to mock the vanity of man, the things they find superficially attractive, their ?jewels in joy designed? lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind, and the ?mirrors meant? to have been used to perceive all this human vanity is crawled over by ?grotesque? creatures who are the are the ones that are using these ?opulent? items. Fate, however, is the most blatant theme in the poem; Hardy recognizes fate and the will of God as the reasons why this ship had to have sunk. It is illustrated in the personification of ?Immanent Will? and the ?Spinner of the Years?; this personification is a vague reference to God as well as showing their power and command over human life. ...read more.


It can also be noted that the poem is somewhat split into two, the first five stanzas focus on the sunken Titanic, the waste of all the vanity that was put into it, where as the last six stanzas focus on the inevitable fate of the two having met. It is interesting that Hardy possible constructs the poem this way because the tragedy was so well-known and famous that he is able to begin with the focus on the ships already sunken state before delving into the issue of fate and God?s will. One very intriguing element to Hardy?s construction of The Convergence of the Twain is that the stanzas look as if they are tiny ships. This creative device adds more artistic flair to the poem and adds motion to the poem, as well as being a visual aid. The Convergence of the Twain is a philosophical dirge by Hardy that also happens to illustrate most of his quandaries of life, fate and human vanity. As Hardy using an atypical presentation of the tragedy also manages to make the reader recognize his cynicism and negativity towards human technologies and the Titanic. His poem shows the tragedy of mans overconfidence, and illustrates the importance of recognizing the power of nature as well as fate on our lives. ...read more.

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