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How far do you agree with the view that Hardys poems are fundamentally about human error and failure?

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Introduction

Failure can be seen as the deterioration or decay of something with former strength, and has connotations of the underperformance of something great and expected. Human error, an extension of human nature, can be interpreted as the situation where humans are given control over a process, and after ignorance and poor decision making, errors can occur. There are many different viewpoints on the purpose of Hardy's poem, however it seems clear in The Convergence of the Twain and in his other poems, he focuses on human error and failure as defined above. Hardy highlights the Titanic's failure by contrasting its magnificent features to its dismal doom. The ship's positive aura of 'jewels in joy designed' is quickly negated as Hardy describes them lying 'lightless' on the seabed with 'their sparkles bleared and black and blind'. ...read more.

Middle

It is some critics' opinion that Hardy means to express his feelings that the sinking of the Titanic was inevitable and out of human control with the 'Immanent Will' creating a 'sinister mate' in the iceberg that 'no mortal eye could see'. However, it cannot be ignored that Hardy writes 'as the smart ship grew' so did 'the Iceberg too'; this is a clear image that the failure was due to human error - as they grew more vain in building its extravagance, the chance for failure became greater. By showing that the growth of the ship and the iceberg were linked epitomises Hardy's views that the Titanic's sinking was down to human ignorance and the error of judgement in realising it was a step too far for Victorian engineering. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, it seems the last line of the poem is poignant and negates any previous recognition of nature as he tells 'I was unaware'. Hardy may have chosen to do this to emphasise his sense of being in the dark and his failure in being able to change the crumbling nature around him. It is clear he feels this deterioration is a key message he needs to convey, with the zeitgeist of disliking industrialisation proving to himself that 'all mankind' need to realise the human error. In conclusion, it seems that Hardy feels strongly that key failures such as Titanic's sinking and the decay of nature are due to vanity and error of judgement or the ignorance in not realising the scale of change. His criticism on society's failures through failure and human error seem a fundamental them throughout his poems. ...read more.

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