Analysis Of Thomas Hardy 's ' The Convergence Of The Twain ' Essay
In the period following World War I, citizens of all nationalities faced a dark disillusionment forcing them to grapple with personal identity and the purpose of life. People looked to artists of the age as builders of morale and shapers of societal perspective, yet the writers of that time had little more sense of direction than anyone else in the midst of ideological desolation. The only thing to be certain of was uncertainty. Two Modernist poets – Thomas Hardy, and A. E. Housman – chose to cope with such insecurity by depicting Glory meeting an undefeatable adversary and returning to obscurity; using allusions, imagery and tone to set a mood of either negativity or cheerful acceptance, each poet offers a unique perspective on Glory’s mutability.
Through the generations of creative expression, few poets have had as fitting an example of passing glory as Thomas Hardy. His poem, “The Convergence of the Twain,” describes the sinking of the Titanic with negative imagery and contrasts that make what is already a tragedy seem even more dreadful on the other side of his pen. The speaker establishes the mood of the poem in the first verse when he refers to “…the Pride of Life that planned [the ship]…”
(Hardy 3). This phrase is a Biblical allusion to the book of First John where the author comments on the transience of everything around us: “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride…