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04/23/2012

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tknight

People continue to talk and write about the titanic, because its hard to believe that the "unsinkable" ship sank. This ship had an added sense of safety with a slogan like that, and it captured everyone's attention. It was an extremely tragic event that was one of the first globally broadcasted events; that will never be forgotten by any generation. this article shows how we as people on this Earth cannot let go of such a tragedy which so many different kinds of people lost their lives, helped others, and stayed strong to survive the agonizing event that happened on April 15, 1912. We may never know what those people went through, but we have learned from this event that has probably saved thousands of lives today.

Katie

1.I think that the “we” Mendelsohn is referring to is mostly people in Europe and the US. They were the main audience of the tragedy when it occurred seeing as most of the passengers were somehow connected to these two continents. I’d consider myself to be a part of this group, not only because of my home here in the US, but because I grab every chance I have to learn more about the incident of the Titanic, hence the reading of this article.

2.I would say that my interest in the Titanic is above average for most 20 year olds in this day and age. I’ve seen several of the movies mentioned in the article and have read many of the books mentioned as well. I nearly died of excitement when the traveling titanic exhibit came to a museum within driving distance of my home. Whether or not it can be considered a subject for hidden intellectualism is up in the air. Seeing as it is considered a major event in history I can’t see knowledge of it being looked down on but at the same time in comparison to many other events of greater importance, it’s a mere blip on the radar of history. I think that general knowledge of the incident of the Titanic would be considered typical academic knowledge but the deeper you go into the more it becomes hidden intellectualism because of its smaller impact on the world.

3.I would say that my interest in the Titanic is above average for most 20 year olds in this day and age. I’ve seen several of the movies mentioned in the article and have read many of the books mentioned as well. I nearly died of excitement when the traveling titanic exhibit came to a museum within driving distance of my home. Whether or not it can be considered a subject for hidden intellectualism is up in the air. Seeing as it is considered a major event in history I can’t see knowledge of it being looked down on but at the same time in comparison to many other events of greater importance, it’s a mere blip on the radar of history. I think that general knowledge of the incident of the Titanic would be considered typical academic knowledge but the deeper you go into the more it becomes hidden intellectualism because of its smaller impact on the world.

4.I think that it has to do with the scale of the event for the time, both physically and in the media. When talking to people about the sinking of the Titanic, they always say, “All those poor people,” or, “They all thought it was safe.” I think that the fact that so many people went onto that ship, trusting the reports of its certain safety hits people in modern times very hard as well. We rely so heavily on media for information but rarely question it and this is prime example of how we can become entangled in unfortunate situations due to blind faith in the media. My friends and I, we talked for a while on this subject and could come to the answer that while we would never lose interest in the event of the Titanic, we saw it not as a great lesson on class equality or on loss of life even. We saw it as acceptance of a fiction as fact, as a crude form of the media’s hold over the public and how disaster looms where the media rules.

Noemy

I agree with Mendelsohn on the idea that the fascination with the Titanic continues because I think that it is just one of those tragic stories that really move people. Everything from the books, the films, and even the newspaper headlines that were printed at the time of the tragedy can spark a lot of thought and emotion in a person. We have read and watch these sources and we almost find it hard to believe that this tragedy really happened to people. What a moment of despair, panic, and total terror it must have been for the passengers aboard the Titanic. I think that is why people are intrigued to know about the Titanic because it makes a person wonder what he/she would have done if he/she would have been aboard the Titanic at that time. I think that in a way, a person puts his/herself aboard the Titanic as they read the book or watch the films. Another reason I believe people are fascinated with the story is because of the ship itself. We want to know about this luxurious and massive ship that was named the Titanic. When we watch the movie, we are fascinated with lavishness of the ship and wonder what it would have been like to have seen it in real life. The Titanic was also supposed be this great human creation that was not supposed to fail and yet it did. The Titanic is fascinating because it is almost a reminder of how such great human creation can be dangerous. Overall, I think that the fascination with the Titanic will probably not end because there will always be someone new who reads the books or watches the popular 1997 film over and over again. The ship may have sunk and many may have died, but the fascination with the tragedy will not.

Alejandra B.Martinez

Mendelsohn, "Unsinkable: Why We Can’t Let Go of the Titanic”
I do agree with Daniel Mendelsohn in his argument that Americans are obsessed with the Titanic. Mendelsohn mentions that there have been a number of books, movies, poems, songs and articles done in memory of the Titanic. Among the many books he mentions some of them are: “A Night to Remember,” by Walter Lord, John Welshman’s “Titanic: The Last Night of a Small Town,” John Maxtone-Graham’s “The Only Way to Cross” and Steven Biel’s “Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster.” I do agree that part of the reasons as to why “we,” American’s, are so obsessed is because of the great social divide that excised when trying to save the passengers, the fact that it was said “Not even God can sink this ship,” that the ship was not carrying enough boats to save everyone who was aboard the ship, and the fact that the Titanic was on it’s first trip. Had the Titanic been on its third, fourth or twentieth trip, I do not think it would have made major headlines the way it did. Also, if the right number of ships would have been on board and the number of deaths would not have so big, the story would not have been as big as it was. Possibly, if more women and children had been saved instead of only saving the rich, maybe the story would not have been as great as it is now.
One thing I do not agree with is when Mendelsohn starts comparing the ship to Greek mythology. Titanic had the greatest name ever, deriving from the Greek “Titans.” He mentions that, “Like Iphigenia, the Titanic is a beautiful ‘maiden’ sacrificed to the agendas of greedy men eager to set sail.” I would not go as far as to comparing the ship to the Titans or to Iphigenia. I understand that Iphigenia is supposed to mean “born strong,” and the Titanic was supposed to be the strongest ship, and that a similarity. They might have some resemblances but, I do not think there is much to compare then with.

Ruby Lin

I found Daniel Mendelsohn’s article very interesting and enlightening. Before reading, I honestly had not spared a thought on the reality behind the sinking of the Titanic. The tragedy had remained blissfully behind Hollywood’s enticing version of star-crossed love with a dramatic end. It was also because I was much younger when I had first watched the Titanic that certain issues, such as class and race distinction, that Mendelsohn wrote about were not obvious. But now, after I have read his article, I am starting to see the great flaw that is the Titanic. What nags at me, what had nagged at me in the past, is the ignorance to the ice warning the Titanic had received almost a day prior to collision. I did extra reading and learned that on the eve of its doom, the Titanic was scheduled for a boat drill in which all hands, those of the passengers and the staff, were supposed to assemble their life jackets. Yet this was neglected. Worse that I learned, there were two other ships in the vicinity when the Titanic started its infamous foundering. It enraged me to think that there was another ship not ten miles from the Titanic that had failed to come to aid! I really liked that Mendelsohn included the “A Night to Remember” in his article. Another thing that had angered me was the class distinction issued presented in the Titanic. There are several other movies with the same problem, such as 2012 when earth was trying to recruit survivors into the ark, at one scene it was narrated that they were recruiting those that have the most preferred genetic make-up to sustain a healthy human population in the future, Yet on the screen all that was displayed were the wealthy who had a paid for a ticket onto the salvation of the ark, leaving the rest of the population desperate outside. I never felt that the rich should have priority over the poor and seeing it happening on my beloved Titanic was heart shattering. I really want to read the now, since I have obviously grew up on an edited version of the Titanic.

Samuel Sutton

The writer of this article seems to have taken painstaking efforts to go over the history of the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic in detail. I agree that the reasons people are so fascinated with Titanic is because of the stories it can be compared and turned into, the connection between the event and Greek tragedies, and the lessons learned from the sinking. The story of the Titanic was a tragedy, which became a lasting death blow to an already dying age. The Gilded Age, which had already been weakening over time, was unable to recover from the sinking of that ship. The class prejudices that had existed while being kept hidden were revealed to the public by this tragedy, and the revelation outraged many people. This can be represented by the peoples' response to Bruce Ismay, the man in charge of the White Star Line, which was the company who ran the Titanic. Ismay's survival enraged American citizens, and they branded him as a coward. Yet, based on class distinction, Ismay had done little wrong. He had helped passengers board lifeboats until there were no others, which led him to get in the last one himself. As a member of the upperclass it would have been considered his right to survive while those of lower classes were none of his concern. However, such views were quickly considered intolerable and inexcusable. The days of class distinctions began to crumble after this. The overwhelming trust people had in technology also died with the Titanic. Before this tragedy technology was considered a marvelous achievement that was completely safe and secure. Titanic was outfitted with all of the latest technology of the time, and none of it was able to save the ship, its passengers, or its crew. This shattered the view of technology being superior and safe. The Titanic also reminded people of the lesson learned by the phrase "pride comes before the fall." Some felt, and claimed, that the Titanic was unsinkable. This was attached to the view of technology, and those who had made such a claim paid for their pride. The ship did not survive its first, and only, voyage. This forced people to face unpleasant realities and learn harsh lessons. No matter how old the story of the Titanic becomes, the lessons learned from it can always be found in one form or another. This is why the telling of the tragic story of the Titanic holds such fascination, and why it always will.

Taylor Mason

1. “We” refers to the people of the world. I consider myself to be in this group because ever since I was a little girl I have always been fascinated with the Titanic. I wanted to know everything about it. When I was younger I found out that the science center in Des Moines, Iowa had and exhibit on the Titanic. I was so excited to go see it. There were so many facts about the Titanic and it was so interesting to see all of the things that they pulled from the ship wreck.
2. Mendelsohn’s main argument is why everyone is still fascinated with the titanic. He reveals his argument by stating all the different ways that people could be obsessed with the titanic. In Mendelsohn’s essay he states, “The inexhaustible interest suggests that the Titanic’s story taps a vein much deeper than the morbid fascination that has attached to other disasters.” When Mendelsohn says this he means that there were other instances where liners have sank but have failed to “generate an obsessive preoccupation.” Mendelsohn also states that “the class issue is one major reason the Titanic disaster has always been so ripe for dramatization.”
3. I am very interested in the Titanic. I have seen the 1997 movie and I love it. I have also watched Titanic related programs on TV. Gerald Graff would say that people’s fascination with the Titanic isn’t a form of hidden intellectualism. I don’t think fascination with the Titanic qualifies as hidden intellectualism because there are exhibits in museums about the Titanic and we have all of these movies and articles about it.
4. I think the Titanic holds enduring fascination because it was called the “unsinkable ship.” The people who boarded the Titanic didn’t think that the ship could possibly sink. They trusted what the media and everyone else said about the Titanic being unsinkable.

C. Duve

1. I considered the “we” the author is talking about is the people in America and Europe because the ship was to voyage across the Atlantic Ocean—from America to Europe, then back to America. I also consider the “we” as people anywhere who are fascinated with history, I consider myself apart of the “we” because ever since watching James Cameron’s movie: The Titanic, I have been enthralled with this piece of history.

2. Mendelsohn’s main argument is about how the ship went down and who was among the people who were lucky enough to get a seat in the lifeboats, and how that experience was for them. He stated his argument through the research about this ship. He talks about the 1997 film when Kate Winslet’s character—Rose—is walking to get on a lifeboat and she comes across the orchestra playing music for the passengers to die to. Mendelsohn also talks about Welshman’s work of “Titanic: The Last Night of a Small Town,” a boy at the age of nine can’t bring himself to go to a baseball game because the sound of people cheering after a home run is hit, reminds him of the night the ship sank, and the sound of the people dying.


3. I find the Titanic somewhat interesting. I have seen the 1997 movie on it, and I have also been to the Titanic exhibit when it was at the Field museum in Chicago a few years back. I think that the Titanic would qualify as “hidden intellectualism” because if people are interested in it, they will be more intrigued to learn more about it, but not everyone feels the same way about it. Similar to how Graff was about sports.

4. I think that people are so fascinated with the Titanic because it was a huge tragedy that no one was expecting. This ship was so grand and supposed to be unsinkable, but it ended up sinking and it became a mystery. Submarines and divers were not able to view the ship on the ocean floor for a long time after the sinking occurred. After talking to a few of my friends about the Titanic, their knowledge is about the same as mine; they have seen the movie and read a few articles in elementary school about it. The topic of the Titanic is not as interesting to us as it is to Mendelsohn because we don’t have a passion for it, unlike he does.

Vanessa Vega

In Mendelsohn article, "Unsinkable: Why We Can’t Let Go of the Titanic” he states that the Titanic is still well known because of all the books and movies that have been made about it. I agree with Mendelsohn. Even before the accident of the Titanic, there was a book published fourteen years before called The Wreck of the Titan or, Futility by Morgan Robertson. In this book, an "unsinkable" ship named Titan meets it doom when it hits an iceberg. Due to the limit amount of lifeboats, many lives are lost in the story; in the Titanic, the same incident occurred. Knowing that there is a book that predicted in detail what happened to the Titanic is fascinating.

The sinking of the Titanic is meaningful too many because it happened so unpredictably. An iceberg sank a ship that was built so majestically and was so call “unsinkable”. In the ship, the people were rank by their economical class but during the incident, all of them were just humans trying to survive. I do agree though that the media is the one responsible for the Titanic being so recognizable today. When the accident occurred people who were surviving passengers started writing their own narratives that later were published in the newspapers. It became so famous during that year because people wanted to know the stories of the people who had survive such disastrous incident. I also think what keep the legend of the Titanic going is that the story has been passed down from generation to generation. When such tragic incidents like this happen that impact our lives, it becomes historic. For example, even if younger generations did not experience September 11, they will know about it because they will see it in their history books, the news on every anniversary, or will be told about it by adults.

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