To Sail or Not to Sail

May 23, 2013
By PhoebeB GOLD, Lexington, Massachusetts
PhoebeB GOLD, Lexington, Massachusetts
10 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
-Victor Hugo

Donald was a shopkeeper during the year 1912, and amidst all the hustling bustling chaos of the Titanic’s departure, it had not taken long for his frustration to grow to an all-consuming proportion. For, whenever he figured it a good moment to resume his reading, the door was almost certain to open again: another passenger of the “Unsinkable Ship” come in to buy their last minute essentials. But, the family who had just trudged into his homely store seemed different, not like the rest of the panicking passengers. Donald looked on as the youngest, a girl he thought to be about 13 years of age, picked up a rather repulsive looking lollipop, and walked towards the till. He peered at the child as he strode towards his position beside the cashbox, watching while she dug through her pockets in search of the ten pence needed to make the purchase. This girl was to make just one buy of many brought on by the Titanic’s voyage. Lots of small shops in Southampton such as Donald’s had been previously living in poverty: but in the months before the departure of the ship, these such shopkeepers were able to scrape together the coins needed to begin living in proper conditions again. Although the Titanic’s journey was one of peril and ultimately failure, the effects it had on the people of England beforehand were enormously satisfying. Money and jobs had been provided to the UK, who had been recently struggling financially. Along with this, the advertisements and circulating rumors of the ship were able to bring much attention to Great Britain as a whole, which proved advantageous to the country in several ways. But most importantly the concept of the Titanic instilled hope in the hearts of the hopeless: something which even today is almost unachievable.
The sailing of the Titanic, in itself, was able to provide jobs to England: a country which at the time was deep in financial debts and crises. These jobs were simply those that would benefit the wondrous ship (builder, interior designer…) yet in the end, the workers may have received the greater reward. For, the money brought into the working class of Great-Britain was enough to pull most of the population out of poverty. Without the sailing of the great ship: the series of events that lead to this outcome would never have occurred. By looking at frequent surveys taken throughout the 1900’s, it is now known that before the sailing of the “floating palace” many people living in the UK were surviving at subsistent and impoverished levels. Although I myself can hardly imagine an England such as this, one must believe that the world was a very different place one hundred years ago. In fact, it was only after the announcement and commissioning of workers for the Titanic, that the Britons began living in relatively average conditions again (Lambert, Tim. "Liberal Reforms." 20th Century England. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan 2013. This information proves two things. One being that before the Titanic, England was living dangerously close to poverty. But more importantly that it was after citizens began receiving money from their work with the “Unsinkable Ship”, that massive improvements were made financially to Britain’s economy. Having been, myself, to England this is especially difficult for me to believe. Today England’s economy is significantly better than some other countries (America, Greece, to name a few). The United Kingdom is not the economically demolished country it used to be anymore. This is because of the famous ocean-liner.For this reason it is believed that the sailing of the Titanic was a vital event totaling to enormous success on England’s behalf.
Advertising the Titanic through several different sources (i.e. newspaper articles, letters or other media) succeeded in bringing a fruitful number of tourists to England. Despite the fact that appealing illustrations and print were hardly the ‘norm’ in those times, authors and artists alike had wasted no time in creating attractive, modern designs and descriptions to advertise the “Unsinkable Ship.” And, certainly because of this: tourists from other countries had raced in coming to see the boat in all its magnificence. The alluring advertisements boasted of the ship’s luxuries including restaurants, swimming pools, and more. It is no surprise, then, that most of the people on the ship were foreign including passengers from many different countries of Europe. How did they get there? Well the answer for the majority of the foreign people on board is the same. These passengers were tourists at some point during the peak of the Titanic’s popularity, and during their stay in England had decided to purchase a ticket on the famous ship. This piece of evidence proves the very relevant historical theory that prior to the ship’s departure a moderate chunk of the passengers had already paid heap loads of money to England during a visit to the country. So, say for instance a wealthy family of France had heard talk of the marvelous Titanic. They then might choose to visit England to see the ship. Whether or not a ticket was purchased is irrelevant, owing to the facts that even if the boat appeared “unsatisfactory”, the French family had still ended up paying England’s tourism industries during their stay. This round-about action would also have brought money to the workers of the Titanic, mentioned in the previous paragraph. When these tourists, future passengers or not, arrived in England to see the ”Unsinkable Ship”, humongous amounts of money and attention were directed at Great Britain. The consequences of this were hugely important financially, as talked about further in the paragraph above. For this reason also, the Titanic’s setting sail was an imperative event in England’s history.

The concept of the Titanic alone was able to fill many hearts with hope, an achievement so amazing it is almost unbelievable. The large poor population living in England at the time was a dominant factor in this outcome. It was the people who were poor, who could not afford a ticket on the dreamlike ship. Despite the fact that many of those same people had never even seen the boat, the enchanting talk of the vessel was enough to drive most penny-pinched families to insanity. However, at the same time: a ticket on the Titanic was something to hope and dream for. The idea of living to pay for and be granted a seat on the “Unsinkable Ship” was something that kept despair at bay. At this point in time the poor began to rebel, demanding for their rights. This circumstance can be compared to that of the black and white conundrum in America. In both situations, one group of people felt denied the opportunities of the other. In the end of both devastations was success… After years of protest two laws were passed. One which entitled a person to a small fund if they were to fall sick, and the other shortening the hours workers were required to work each day (Lambert, Tim. "Liberal Reforms." 20th Century England. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan 2013. These laws were just one success of many granted due to the rebellions of the poor. As if the connection between the Titanic and the revolts wasn’t clear enough: the incidents began happening only shortly after the announcement of the ship’s creation, and both laws were passed in the year 1911 (merely one year before the ship’s departure). Without the hope in the hearts of the poor due to the Titanic, these citizens would never have rebelled for their rights. In the case of the poor being granted their rights, the infamous ocean-liner proved an essential factor. Not only was the ship a symbol of equality to many people in England: it was an excuse to make improvements to the British law. (My great-grandmother has told me in the past about the troubled nation that she remembers from her childhood. The situations she has described to me are altogether horrific, and I can only hope that England never returns to dark days like those again).Although not many of the poor who rebelled could afford a ticket in the end; the hope that drove them to gain their rights back was monumental. In this instance, a single boat changed a nation of people. For this reason, the Titanic’s setting sail was enormously important.

However, one may still persist that the Titanic should never have set sail for various reasons. One example is that the Titanic was not supplied with adequate amounts of safety material (ex: lifeboats, life-vests). I would like to disprove this theory now. This idea is altogether irrelevant to the Titanic’s tragedy. For it was not the number of lifeboats that lost lives, but the lack of passenger speed to get onto the lifeboats. If a quick “get in and row away” situation had been enacted, there would have been no deaths onboard. This says that the Titanic did in fact have the necessary safety materials. Furthermore proving that this such counter-reasoning is altogether incorrect. And, on a whole without the departure of the infamous boat, none of the outcomes described in this essay would have occurred. So again, it has become clear that the Titanic was the secret to England’s success, the key to unlocking a new Great Britain, but also: an imperative event in the history of the United Kingdom. Therefore, the Titanic should have set sail.

The author's comments:
Started as a school project. Ended as a worthy piece of writing.

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This article has 2 comments.

PhoebeB GOLD said...
on Jun. 13 2013 at 10:43 pm
PhoebeB GOLD, Lexington, Massachusetts
10 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
-Victor Hugo

Maybe... maybe not....

Csquared GOLD said...
on Jun. 13 2013 at 9:40 pm
Csquared GOLD, Lexington, Massachusetts
10 articles 0 photos 38 comments
Wasn't this the amazing essay that you wrote this year in English class?


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