The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald- Ballad Poem Paragraph

The ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” written by Gordon Lightfoot, explores themes such as loss and the effects of a rough environment. The ballad is the story of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald which at the time of her launch was one of the largest ships. The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sadly sank in Lake Superior because of a horrible storm. All 29 members on the ship passed away. On a connotative sense, the poem explores the effects of environment on man-made machines and a deeper understanding when it comes to the loss of someone. In the ballad, the reader is informed that the crew and the captain of the ship were well taught and well prepared therefore they were experienced. When the ship first set sail everything was going according to plan until they heard the ship’s bell rang, “And later that night when the ship’s bell rang/ Could it be the north wind they’d be feelin’?” (15-16). Due to the fact that they set sail in November, the strong winds were unpredictable and ended up taking control of the ship causing it to sink. Our environment can be unpredictable and no matter how strong and resistance we build an item, mother nature can always take over. We should always prepare ahead and make rational decisions. We as human beings tend to think that we are superior over everything but we should remember to be humble and understand that everything we have achieved is the cause of our environments and what we had access to. Once the news broke out that the ship had sunk, families were devastated: “And all that remains is the faces and the names/ Of the wives and the sons and the daughter” (39-40). The death of the men caused devastation for the entire community and brought pain to the hearts of all individuals. Everyone could sympathize with the loss of the families of the men and they all came together to pray. The community members will always remember the memory of the church bell that “Chimed till it rang twenty-nine times/ For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald” (51-52). The loss of one human being can have an impact on many lives. We should remember the crew of the ship who passed away and what were factors that affected the ship to sink in order for history not to repeat itself so more communities and families don’t get affected.

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