Trial By Ice

A disaster for the centuries

Contrasts and contradictions

Something that surprised me was captain Buddigton's orders when the ship was hurt. On page 195 it said, "Tyson nodded wearily and climbed down onto the floe to resume directing his exhausted men." And on page 196 it said,"Without warning the icy plain erupted into a plume of seawater, snow, and ice." The quotes show that because captain Buddington sent too many people on the ice and then because of that the ice floe broke. In my opinion this was a bad decision because cracks were starting to appear before he sent more men onto the floe. If he would have sent less people onto the floe to retrieve the supplies then they wouldn't have gotten separated. This was surprising to me because I thought that Buddington would make a better decision. In our group we talked about how the group slowly grew apart because of their contrasting homelands

aha moment

One of the "aha moments" in the story was when captain hall refused to let Dr.Bessel near him. On page 112 captain hall said, "That man is trying to poison me!"The quote shows that captain Hall didn't trust Bessel. And it was later proven it the book that the cup of coffee drank by Hall was poisoned by Bessel. This changed Hall temporarily because he only let the inuit near him and only let them cook for him. After that he recovered drastically. But after being convinced by the crew to let Bessel treat him he got worse. This changed the plot because it r shined a light who was poisoning Hall. In our group we talked about how it took over a century after the trip to realize that hall was poisoned

tough questions

One of the tough questions in the book is asked by captain Hall. on page 108 captain Hall asked captain Buddington," Don't you think I need an emetic." Bessel still refused this wish. This is a tough question because it's the crews beliefs vs Bessels knowledge. And Bessel would win that battle because no one would doubt his credentials. But because of this Captain Hall died. This is a tough question beecause the captain is usually portrayed as the person who helps other people and for him to ask for help it must have been hard.. In our group we talked about how Bessel used his medical knowledge to his advantage.

again and again

One image that is represented again and again is Tysons marooned party devouring and sometimes drinking the blood of the animals and eating their vital organs. On page 227 it said, " The clotted blood was swallowed whole, while cups of steaming blood were drank before it cooled.Liver, meat, heart, and brain disappeared." This is repeated on pages 216, 228, 221,222, and 225. I think this is important for the reader to know because it shows how rarely the crew ate when they were stranded on the ice. And how they didn't take meals for granted. In our group we talked about the disgusting images put in our heads.

Words of the wiser

There is one example where Bessel gets taught a lesson. Bessels childhood dreams were to become an explorer. And since he was on land with Buddingtons party he decided to try and make a run for the north mountains. He tries many times until an inuit teaches him a lesson. On page 240 it said, Sharkey purposely rocked one of the sleds over a sharp edge and broke it into two.Now there was no question, they would have to return." The lesson taught to Bessel is to listen to a person who is wiser and knows more about something than you. In our group we talked about how smart the inuit were

memory moment

One memory moment in the book is when the U.S discovered who killed Hall about a century after. On page 303 it said, "Bessel probably decided to switch to injecting the arsenic," The quote shows that Bessel poisoned hall by injecting high levels of arsenic into his systems. This is a memory moment because it flashes back to when Hall died and it contains important information because it shows that he was poisoned with arsenic. In our group we talked about the U.S trying to cover up the truth about the polaris


Richard Parry wrote an amazing multi dimensional book about the Polaris and the gruesome aftermath of the crash. The crews suffering, pain, and mindlessness are portrayed extremely well with the complexity of his vocabulary. The imagery in this book is probably the best of any book I've read because I can virtually picture the whole story happening in my head. Overall one of the best books I've read.

By Vineet.R, N.Y Times