The Difference in Theme about the Titanic in Convergence of the Twain and Titanic
Many times in life events occur which stimulate many opinions. In a painting by Picasso, one way see beauty while another sees a squiggle of lines. Two people see a movie and one is moved to tears while the other is bored stiff. People are often moved in different ways by similar experiences. This would explain the tremendous difference in theme of two poets about the tragedy of the Titanic. Thomas Hardys’ “Convergence of the Twain” and David R. Slavitts’ “Titanic” offer two opposing views of the same experience.Slavitt’s “Titanic” interprets the sinking of the Titanic not as a tragedy but as a joy. He asks the question “Who does not love the Titanic?” This is very true. Who has not heard of its incredible mass and beauty. Everything about the Titanic has titanic proportions. What a splendid time those people were having on their cruise. Who, if given the opportunity, would partake knowing the catastrophic outcome that awaits? David R. Slavitt would. For him to relive the awe of cruising in the largest ship in the world with thousands of other people having the time of their lives would be impressive. For him to go out in glory and magnificence would be worthwhile. After all, “We all go: only a few, first class.”I very much agree with Slavitt. To think of a better way to go is quite difficult. One minute your living life then shortly and painlessly you go into the after life knowing you spent your last hours on top of the world. It’s special that this poet took such a tragic event and put an optimistic twist into it. Before reading this poem I never considered the flip side of this seemingly tragic event. The simple title “Titanic” speaks much about how Slavitt felt about the entire saga. “Titanic” is fitting since he speaks of this event in such large proportions. He wrote this poem in open form. There is no rhyme or alliteration or assonance. It is as if Slavitt is merely speaking to his audience. He speaks as though he possesses a wisdom from the graves of those who passed. This perspective is in opposition to the view of the Titanic taken by Thomas Hardy.