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Analysis of ”The Convergence of the Twain” by Thomas Hardy

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“The Convergence of the Twain” by Thomas Hardy describes the sinking of the Titanic to comment on the superiority of nature over the fleeting reality of vanity. The narrator uses the inevitable meeting of the iceberg and the ship to demonstrate nature’s power. The voyage seemed extremely safe and confident to the general public, and “no mortal eye could see/ The intimate welding of their later history” (Lines 26-27). The poem also discusses the aftermath of the sinking illustrating the dark, underwater world where ornate possessions are meaningless. The first class passenger’s riches have no purpose at the bottom of the ocean: “What does this vaingloriousness down here?” (Line 15).

The poem suggests that some kind of “Immanent Will” (Line 18) or creator made the ice berg specifically for this ship. Nature intended for these two massive structures to meet; they were destined for each other: “Or sign that they were bent/By paths coincident/On being anon twin halves of one august event,” (Lines 28-30). Even the so called safest ship in the world could not escape the unavoidability of nature’s will taking its course. What is more lasting, money and decoration, or the eminent force of nature? “Jewels in joy designed/To ravish the sensuous mind/Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind” (Lines 10-12) exemplifies all the wealth that now lies deteriorating at the bottom of the ocean disregarded by the fish that surround it. This poem can be considered a critique of the wealthy lifestyle. The narrator is making a point that the wealthy class’s money could be spent in more important ways than lavish belongings. “The Convergence of the Twain” proves that in the end, material items are worthless, and all that money spent on them has gone to waste.

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