Who Sank the Titanic?

Essay by kneesaa_984High School, 11th grade May 2004

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Named after the Titans of ancient mythology, enormous in size and strength, the Titanic first sailed the seas April 12, 1912. It was a glorious ship predicted to make headlines. However, the headlines anticipated were displaced by a story of tragedy. The Titanic was created to be an unsinkable ship, and perhaps this reckless presumption was what blinded the passengers, as well as Captain Edward J. Smith. After disaster stuck, people were left wondering what caused the catastrophe. Some blamed Bruce Ismay, the owner of the Titanic, for the lives of those passengers on board, while others blamed Captain Smith. Although, he was an honorable and well-experienced captain for forty years, his poor decisions, ignorance, overconfidence, and his thirst for public attention sunk the "ship of dreams" (Titanic).

Captain Smith was an honorable and distinguished captain, "[f]or 40 years storms sought in vain to vex him or menace his craft" (Streissguth, 32).

Captain Smith was looked upon as a skillful, assured and a faithful sailor. For forty years he skillfully maneuvered ships through ice infested waters and not once did any ships founder by his hand. His company held him high on a pedestal, when they saw Captain Smith they saw a person "[s]trong of limb, intent of purpose, pure in character, dauntless as a sailor should be, he walked the deck of his majestic structures as master of her keel" (Streissguth, 32). As a demonstration of the respect towards Captain Smith, his company handed to him every new advancing ship that was built (Streissguth, 32). Lightoller described him as, "[a] ship's captain of vast experience, universally regarded as a highly responsible man, who behaved at times in a manner that appears, in retrospect, positively reckless" (Streissguth, 82). However, Lightoller also mentioned that Captain Smith had a...