Robert Olen Butler does not establish a setting at the start of “Titanic Survivors Found in Bermuda Triangle”; nor does he establish who is talking. Instead, he starts the story with the narrator, whose name will much later be given as Margaret, telling her story, leaving the situation for the reader to piece together. From the title of the story, readers can accurately suppose that she is one of the survivors of the wreck of the Titanic, on the night of April 14, 1912. This assumption is supported by her reference, in the first sentence, to the coldness of the North Atlantic, the location where the Titanic sank, and references soon after to a lifeboat and the ship’s smokestacks. She is recalling that night, and her life leading up to it.
While describing the chaotic scene of the ship going down, Margaret describes having been in London just days earlier, with a group of women who were marching in protest for women’s right to vote and whose demonstration was being ignored by men. She feels similarly ignored as the ship is sinking, as her immediate understanding of the situation is ignored by all but one of the men she encounters. She traveled to London to attend a convention on suffrage and is proud of herself for having traveled alone, which was highly irregular for women in 1912.
In the present, Margaret finds her modern hotel room strange, but she has come to understand and accept it. She is conscious of the...
(The entire section is 748 words.)
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