TITANIC Voices from the Disaster

By Deborah Hopkinson

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This book tells the story of several survivors from the Titanic, all stories being both interesting and sad. One character that I was intrigued by was Harold Bride. He was a 22 year old man from London. He was the junior wireless operator and trained as a Marconi operator on the Titanic. He worked tirelessly on the Titanic alongside senior operator Jack Phillips. For hours on end the wireless operators transmitted messages to and from the Titanic. Harold Brides job involved sending many messages from passengers to loved ones, sharing the story and excitement of the maiden voyage on the Titanic. Another one of Harold's responsibilities included getting messages from other ships to the bridge of the Titanic. One very important message came from the Mesaba warning the Titanic of heavy packed ice and large icebergs. Due to the Marconi operators being overworked the message from the Mesaba never got delivered to the captain due to it being marked wrong. Harold and the other operators were swamped with passenger messages and lacked sleep. Harold Bride would not have known how close they were to the dangerous icebergs. Would it have made a difference if the message got to the captain? This question will haunt Bride for the rest of his life. Many other warnings were delivered to the Captain the day leading up to the disaster. The Captain didn't change anything. Walter Lord, author of A Night to Remember, the most famous book about the Titanic stated "Above all the cumulative effects of the messages-warning after warning, the whole day long-was lost completely. The result, a complacency and almost arrogant casualness, that permeated the bridge." Bride managed to escape from rescue boat Collapsable B, but had many injuries to his feet from the cold and cold water. He was a very brave young man, working with his senior wireless operator Jack Phillips until the very end. After being rescued from a ship named Carpathia he still managed to help. He worked with the Carpathia's wireless operator, sending personal messages from the survivors. Harold continued to be a wireless operator after moving to Scotland. He named his first son Jack, after his good friend that did not survive.
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In the Novel Titanic- Voices from the Disaster the setting takes place on the Titanic's maiden voyage. On April 10, 1912 the Titanic was in route from London to New York City across the Atlantic Ocean. This book tells stories from the point of view of several first, second and third class passengers. It also includes the views of many employees on board. Starting from the excitement of the maiden voyage leading up to the uncertainty of the disaster.
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There can be many themes found throughout the novel Titanic Voices from the Disaster. One theme that sticks out above the rest is both arrogance and confidence. These qualities can be found in both the employees of the ship and passengers amongst all three classes. While there were many signs of danger sent to the Titanic leading up to the disaster all signs were brushed off. This laid back approach to warnings are what ended up leading to the devastation. Passengers amongst the ship believed their luxury boat would never fail them. Looking back, how silly it was not to have enough rescue boats for all the passengers on board. Another sign of over confidence by even the makers of the boat.
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In the novel Titanic Voices from the Disaster there are many stories shared from both survivors and witnesses. All stories give you the feeling that you were alongside them living through this terrible night on April 15, 1912. While reading this book I felt many emotions. The excitement while the boat was departing made me feel like I was also a passenger on this boat with the amount of details they used to describe their experiences. With the excitement also quickly came the sadness of the unthinkable. I would recommend this book to a variety of readers. It made me wonder what it was like to live through this experience of being on the Titanic that night. I realized from reading this book that no matter what "class" you are in, life is precious and can change in an instant.