The Convergence of the Twain Questions and Answers
by Thomas Hardy

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Explain the theme of Thomas Hardy's poem "The Convergence of the Twain."

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Most people at the time thought that the sinking of the Titanic was an appalling tragedy involving the senseless loss of innocent life. If Thomas Hardy felt the same way, then there's no sign of it in "The Convergence of the Twain." Instead, he uses the sinking of the Titanic as an opportunity to explore the relationship between man and nature. As in the disaster, so with the poem: man comes off worst.

The Titanic , like all of humankind's technological achievements, was ultimately no match for nature. All too often we fail to respect the natural world, seeing it as an object to be conquered and exploited for our own ends. And what ends are these? Frequently, they are little...

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quddoos | Student

It's about the Titanic crashing into the iceberg, which then caused the ship to sink. 

The theme is that all the extravagance of human creation, symbolized by the Titanic, is no match for the divine spirit of nature that decided to overwhelm it.

quddoos | Student

The powerful role of fate is one of the major themes of Thomas Hardy's poem "Convergence of the Twain."  Written originally as a response to the sinking of the Titanic, Hardy's poem suggests that "an Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything" designed the icy fate that awaited the Titanic that cold April morning (VI). The poem portrays the Titanic and the iceberg as kismet lovers awaiting their destiny when they can finally meet and be together.  The extended metaphor throughout the poem uses the idea of fate as the impetus for their meeting. 

"The Convergence of the Twain" argues that the disaster was not caused through the fault of man's hubris or oversight, but that it was fated long ago "In a solitude of the sea/ deep from human vanity" (I).