What in the poem might lead us to conclude that the poem has an exceptionally grim way of understanding the fate of human beings?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "The Convergence of the Twain," by Thomas Hardy, the Titanic's ultimate destination is first described:  the ship is at the bottom of the sea, where the jewels and the mirrors are scarcely noticed by the passing fish.  The "Pride of Man" lies in ruins.  Despite all of man's technology and art, the Titanic could not withstand the tremendous force of the slow-moving iceberg.  Man is presented as being prideful, "vain-glorious," but ultimately fallible and weak.  The ultimate craft of man,

the smart ship [that] grew

In stature, grace, and hue

was brought low by the "Ice" that was "fat and dissociate."

For all our pride, our intelligence, our confidence, and our vanity, we cannot outstrip fate or the forces of nature.  We cannot escape calamity or death.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial