Thursday, December 6, 2012

Endurance: Post 5

     This section of the book went from one extreme to another.  In the first chapter of this section it mentioned how Shackleton had lost some of the tremendous amount of self-confidence that he once had.  On page 220 it says, "It was obvious that the burden of responsibility Shackleton had borne for sixteen months had nibbled away somewhat at his enormous self-confidence.  He wanted to talk and to be assured that he had acted wisely."  Shackleton found himself questioning Worsley about their chances at this point in their journey. On page 221 it says, "As for the journey itself, he seemed strangely doubtful, and he asked Worsley's opinion of their chances.  Worsley replied that he was sure that they would make it, but it was evident that Shackleton was far from convinced."  Shackleton felt that he had proven himself on land but he viewed the sea as his enemy.  He felt that being out at sea was "an act of physical combat, and their was no escape."  Shackleton referred to the sea as a battle against a tireless enemy in which man never actually wins and the most that he can hope for is not to be defeated.  I think this section of the book was so rocky where one second the men were up and then not even a second later they were back down again fighting for their lives like they never had before.  It definitely made it interesting because you never knew what obstacle they were going to face next.  By the end of chapter five, McCarthy's voice shouted out "Land!"  The men finally saw a black, cliff with patches of snow clinging to its side and they were only approximately ten miles away.  Shackleton said to the men, "We've done it." The men were in complete shock and just stared ahead without even making a sound.  The men had feeble, foolish grins spread across their faces of unspeakable relief.  I definitely didn't expect anything else to come about after they finally spotted land but unfortunately that wasn't the case.  When the men were only about forty-five minutes from land they weren't able to reach it because that would of meant death for them.  The men were once again in such awful disappointment and had faced another storm that they didn't think was possible to escape this time around.  On page 251 it states, "Worsley thought not so much of dying, because that was now so plainly inevitable, but of the fact that no one would ever know how terribly close they had come."  Then the boat was spared after this incident had occurred.  I could not imagine being in their position.  It was like every time something positive had happened for them, something bad followed right after. At the end of this section, it was such a relief to see that the men had finally reached the island in which they had sailed 522 days before.  About time!

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