Thursday, October 11, 2012
This part to me represented a see-saw in a sense because the men went from high to low in several instances. They either had a ton of food, like the 1,000 pound sea leopard, or the hundreds of Adelie penguins or a very limited supply of food, leaving the men famished beyond belief. Sometimes there rations seemed so minimal I could not imagine surviving a day on that little bit of food. Besides the food, there was also sightings of land. Most of the men were excited to see the land and the two islands because they had not seen anything but ice and water for days upon days. Just as quickly as they learned they were near land, in the next instance they had drifted the opposite direction from the islands. So this represents a high and a low. There is also the everyday worry about the ice cracking and breaking up. This issue became more apparent as the section continues on. It really is an issue when they cannot make the last trip to get the supplies or when they have to wake up on a moments notice to move everything. There is also the constant stress of having to spot such cracks and staying up at night in shifts to watch the ice. It seems to go from good to bad on several occasions when it comes to the ice floes. Lastly, the effects that this "see-saw" stress of life has on the men seems to become more apparent . Some of the different attitudes and anger from the men are seen in this section. Many are becoming frustrated, especially when it came to food. They were upset that Shackleton was not more of a go getter in terms of hunting when there was food to be hunted. I like that in this section you get a feel for what the men are feeling because of what they say they are writing in their diaries and some of their frustrations they are vocalizing. It did surprise me when Shackleton ordered that the dogs be shot and killed and then eaten. What was worse was that the different dog team leaders were the ones who had to kill their dogs personally. I find this to be cruel. I thought that the men would've been more upset about having to complete this task but it seemed as though they pushed it aside and went with Shackleton's orders. I did not like this part of the story. I found it to be very sad however, I do understand why Shackleton knew it was necessary. The dogs were also consuming what little food they had and it was only logical in that given situation. The end of this section leaves the men in a most interesting predicament. They decide to board the boats and head for the island. But knowing how their luck is from the past sections I am very interested to read what struggles face them in part IV.