It took one hundred and sixty minutes for the Titanic to sink and end the lives of one thousand five hundred passengers. Many believed the wreck was an accident; however, Thomas Hardy, author of “The Convergence of the Twain,” believed it was fate. In the elegy “The Convergence of the Twain” the author paints a picture with many forms of language to interpret his beliefs to the reader. Hardy’s title, use of personification, and imagery show the readers the sorrow of that day and that the collision of the glacier and the “unsinkable” Titanic were meant to be.
The author’s tone presented to the readers in the title of this elegy is destiny. Hardy wants the readers of this poem to have an idea of what the poem is about before it is read. “The Convergence of the Twain” can be interpreted as the joining together of two parts which were the iceberg and the Titanic. The tragic collision between the great ship and the iceberg not only destroyed the biggest ship ever built in this time period but also wrecked thousands of people’s lives. One can gather from the title that the author believes the devastation was destined to happen.
Thomas Hardy uses very detailed imagery throughout the poem to explain his tone. He writes in the second stanza, “Steel chambers, late the pyres of her salamandrine fires, cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.” The author gives the reader a visual of the giant ship’s red hot boilers churning through the ocean in this scene. Afterward, Hardy paints a picture of the ship as it lays on the ocean floor with currents rushing through the cracked hull of the ship. The quote reflects Hardy’s tone of sorrow and the theme of remembrance of the Titanic. Another example of imagery explaining the gloomy impact of the Titanic can be found in the fourth stanza where the ship lies at the bottom of the sea. All the jewels and elegancies of the passengers were once shiny and beautiful; however, now they are “…bleared and black and blind” as they decay on the ocean floor. Thomas Hardy also uses a before and after technique in his writing to paint a better picture for the readers. In the first five stanzas of “The Convergence of the Twain,” he uses this technique to allow the readers to visualize the gloriousness of the ship and the elegancies it held before and then the devastation of the ship after its collision with the iceberg.
Hardy compares the Titanic and iceberg as if the objects were two people in love with a destiny to be together. This use of personification conveys Hardy’s opinion of the disaster being the fate of the ship. The meeting of the ship and the iceberg can be described in the ninth and tenth stanza. Although the two objects look opposite and are very different, they belong together. The Titanic is given many human qualities such as being called “smart” in line twenty-two or being referred to as “her” in line twenty. Hardy foreshadows the crash in the ninth stanza by saying that they may be “alien” to each other, but their “intimate” relationship will soon happen. These words are also examples of personification in Hardy’s novel, “The Convergence of the Twain.”
Thomas Hardy was able to implement many literary devices in “The Convergence of the Twain” to convey his tone of sorrow and to show the fate of the Titanic. Personification and imagery are two of these tools Hardy uses to get his tone across to the readers. The title is also used to explain the fate of the devastating crash. In the elegy, “The Convergence of the Twain,” Hardy especially uses imagery to give a visual to his readers, and this allows many people to connect with the voice that Hardy conveys. The dreadful disaster will forever be remembered by many people even though it has been over one hundred years since the Titanic has sunk.