Heorism In The Endurance Essay

985 words - 4 pages

Imagine being stranded in the middle a frozen wilderness that is surrounded by ice as far as the eye can see, and knowing that the nearest outpost of human civilization is nearly 1200 miles away. In such a bleak situation it would be easy for anyone, myself included, to simply give up all hope of survival. However, the captain of the ship Endurance and the main character in my book, Ernest Shackleton did exactly the opposite. After facing many trials such as losing his ship before even touching Antarctica, Shackleton showed his heroic qualities through his leadership and his perseverance allowed him to successfully led all twenty-seven members of his crew to safety after a harrowing two-year fight for their lives.Even before the fateful voyage of the Endurance began, Shackleton faced many obstacles that could have prevented him from raising enough funds to support his transatlantic journey. After finally garnering enough money to fund his trip, Ernest faced the possibility that his expedition might be cancelled all together because of the declaration of war on France by Germany. But Ernest persevered and his British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition set sail in August 1914 from England with the goal of crossing Antarctica from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea by crossing over the South Pole.Throughout the trials and tribulations that Shackleton and crew faced while making the voyage to Antarctica, Shackleton also proved to be, as described by one of his crew as ?the greatest leader that ever came on God?s earth, bar none??(13). His heroic quality shined through when, in January 1915, the Endurance became trapped in a pack of ice in the dangerous Weddell Sea. Ernest encouraged his men through the long Antarctic winter ??there is no desolation more complete than the polar night?there is no warmth, no life, no movement.? (38). Soon after Shackleton and his men had endured the months of darkness, their ship had to be abandoned due to the implacable, mounting pressure on its sides from the massive ice floes. Although the crew had made their new camp on the ice about a mile away from the crushed ship and felt relatively safe there, Ernest was always prepared for an emergency and never took anything for granted. Because Shackleton ?didn?t want a false sense of security to develop among the men, [he] issued an emergency stations bill?? (79) to ensure the safety of everyone, regardless of what position he held on the ship.Despite the loss of the ship and miserable, wet living conditions on the ice, Shackleton was determined to not allow the crew to become depressed, and encouraged them to keep persevering through each day. Shackleton worked hard at instilling in them a ?basic faith in themselves -- that they could, if need be, pit their strength and determination against any obstacle ? and somehow overcome it.? (100). He never allowed for once allow his men to think that the difficulties...

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