Thursday, October 4, 2012

Endurance Post 2

The second part was much more interesting than the first. Though the crew had worked relentlessly, trying their best to save Endurance in the first part, their true ordeal and hardship started in the second part as they try to make their way across the ice to the nearest possible civilization. They were allowed to take minimum personal items, such as socks, boots, a sleeping bag, and the only clothing was the one they were wearing (64).  Even though Shackleton ordered the crew to leave their personal belongings behind, none of the crew members uttered objections. All of them understood that they could only take the most valuable equipment needed to survive on the ice-bound sea. What I found admirable was the way the crew members look up to Shackleton, trusting and respecting his decisions at every turn. Shackleton is a very strong and motivating figure. Though he is the leader, he goes out of his way to perform menial chores like the rest as well. He prefers to be treated as they would treat any other crew members. However much he tries though, he will remain the authority and be burdened with the responsibility that position entails, and all of the crew likes him as he is.
Despite their dire situation, the crew remained optimistic. Macklin wrote, “It has been a lovely day, and it is hard to think we are in a frightfully precarious situation” (Lansing 69). This was true for all of the crew. They remained surprisingly happy and cheerful, even though they knew that they had no chance of being rescued. Their willpower throughout the journey is remarkable and motivating. They performed their tasks and duties jubilantly in the morning, and made the most of their evenings by activities such as reading, playing cards, or bridge.
Even after Endurance sank, the men still showed optimism. They went on with their tasks and remained strong despite their circumstance. However, as they leave Ocean Camp and head out west and matters get worse, their determination begins to dissolve.  The crew is trying to hold on to their motivation of survival, but the worsening condition of the ice is gnawing at their resolve. For example, at one point, McNeish refused to go on saying that he was “under no obligation to obey orders” (94). Though Shackleton handled the situation well, it does give him a sense of foreboding as it is becomes clear that the crew is only holding on to their motivation by a thread. However, part 2 still ends on a positive note as Shackleton hopes for good fortune.

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