The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald – Rose and Aleana

The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald is a ballad written by Gordon Lightfoot. The ballad includes a variation of themes, including environment and loss. The ballad ties in both themes nicely because each one comes hand in hand with the other. The loss was a product of their environment.

In this particular ballad, the scenes starts off with Fitzgerald on a large sized boat in Lake Superior in Ontario. It then says that it was a gloomy November and that harsh conditions had shown up early in the year, this is foreshadowing to the tragic events at the end of the poem. This represents the environment because essentially, the environment was the conflict. A perfect example of the tension it brought on would be the sentence: “When the gales of November came slashin’, when afternoon came it was freezin’ rain, in the face of a hurricane west wind.” (22-24). It showed us the dangers of their travels and what eventually lead to loss.

Now, after covering the theme of environment, loss also plays a role in this ballad. After the hurricane, 29 crew members were killed, and the loss is reflected on their friends, family and really anyone who was involved in their lives. There is a line in the poem that states that the church bell rang 29 times, one time for each man lost. It tells us that every man lost needs to be remembered and honored to give a sense of closure to the families of the lost ones.

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