Thursday, September 20, 2012

Endurance Part I

Endurance is the story of Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. It portrays the struggle of his crew as they try to survive the Antarctic winter after their ship is trapped and eventually crushed in pack ice. There are many instances in Part I where the theme of motivation is present. The men's strong senses of survival influence is evident in all of their actions. From attempting to saw through the pack ice to searching for the rare seal in mid-winter, the men never give up hope and continue to pull their resources in order to survive the harsh Antarctic. There is also the issue of surviving mentally and emotionally. All the while, they maintain a strong sense of brotherhood. With the stakes so high, it would be easy to succumb to depression, but the men maintain a light air through various celebrations and skit nights. I believe that it is this atmosphere and desire to bond that allowed the men to survive mentally and emotionally. Even when faced with the destruction of their beloved ship, the men fought off desperation and did what they had to do.

When Endurance was first assigned to us, I assumed that it would be a textbook featuring the psychology of motivation. I didn't expect to find a story with the themes of motivation interwoven into its chapters. I really enjoyed the first section of this book because it portrays human motivation in the context of a true story of struggle and hardships. I find this to be an interesting way to apply what we are learning to real life.


  1. Although the first part of the book was hard to understand at first, I agree that the reader can see the men's high levels of motivation from the start. I found it intersting that so many people tried to be a part of Shackleton's crew. It shows that the men selected had more motivation to survive and succeed than around five thouand other applicants.

  2. Going back and looking at these posts after finishing the book it reminds me of how much I was dreading reading this book when the assignment first started. That being said, I had almost the exact same feelings after the first section. I was definitely intrigued by the struggles that these men faced and that was a theme which I knew would be present throughout the book. I had a little difficulty with the terminology as well but as the book progressed I began to understand it a little bit better and I also became increasingly interested in the book too.