Sunday, 20 June 2010

Locus Focus - Titanic

Locus Focus is a meme hosted every Saturday by Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar. "We all know of books that make their settings come alive, and this meme is a chance to write about them and share them with others." Visit her blog and link up!

My Locus Focus for this week is about Titanic.

There are lots of books about this steamship and it's tragic fate and I must confess I own a couple of them as the Titanic and what happened with it intrigue me.

From wikipedia:
An Olympic-class passenger liner, the Titanic was owned by the White Star Line and constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland). She set sail for New York City with 2,223 people on board; the high casualty rate when the ship sank was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship carried lifeboats for only 1,178 people. A disproportionate number of men died due to the women and children first protocol that was followed.

The Titanic was designed by some of the most experienced engineers, and used some of the most advanced technologies available at the time. It was a great shock to many that, despite the extensive safety features, the Titanic sank. The frenzy on the part of the media about the Titanic's famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes to maritime law, and the discovery of the wreck have contributed to the interest in the Titanic.

What intrigues me most about the Titanic is not just the great tragedy of the sinking, but human behaviour. Reading about the sinking and the stories about how people acted fill me with wonder about human nature I can tell you. What is it that makes one man give his life so others can live, while another man thinks only of himself? What makes one person act like a hero and another like a coward?

It also makes me question myself: How would I react when faced with danger? I can only hope I never get in a situation where I'll find out the answer.


IntrovertedJen said...

I really like the last two paragraphs of your post. I hope neither of us is ever in a place to find out the answers to your questions!

Enbrethiliel said...


Fantastic choice, Sully! There are so many stories that have come to us from this real-life setting. I remember that my high school Music teacher was very moved by the story of the musicians who played on so that the panicking people wouldn't be so scared.

The people--both those who survived and who did not--whose stories have been passed on to us have real power to humble us with the fact that we just don't know what we would do in such a situation . . . though, of course, we would hope that in an impossible setting, we would choose to do the right thing.

vvb32 reads said...

fascinating. and the questions you pose at the end are classic.

Alice Audrey said...

Great choice of locus! My dh absolutely adores the Titanic, and reads a lot about it. It's one of those settings that is so vivid it becomes another character in any book where it appears.

Birdie said...

very cool. I don't actually know much about the Titanic story. By that I mean, I actually know more about the structure and schematics of the ship than about what happened to individuals. I might just have to pick up something on the sinking.

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. I've been fascinated by the titanic for most of my life and there are so many touching tales about it.