Futility or The Wreck Of The TitanWydawnictwo: Quiet Vision Pub
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan was an 1898 novella written by Morgan Robertson. The story features the ocean liner Titan, which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. The Titan and its sinking have been noted to be very similar to the real-life passenger ship RMS Titanic, which sank fourteen years later. The first half of Futility introduces the hero, John Rowland....
The first half of Futility introduces the hero, John Rowland. Rowland is a disgraced former Royal Navy lieutenant, who is now a drunkard and has fallen to the lowest levels of society. Dismissed from the Navy, he is working as a deckhand on the Titan. The ship hits the iceberg and sinks somewhat before the halfway point of the novel. The second half follows Rowland, as he saves the young daughter of a former lover by jumping onto the iceberg with her. After a number of adventures, in which he fights a polar bear and finds a lifeboat washed up on the iceberg, he is eventually rescued by a passing ship and, over several years, works his way up to a lucrative Government job restoring his former income and position in society. In the closing lines of the story he receives a message from his former lover, pleading for him to visit her and her daughter.
Despite all of the publicity about it's similarities to the Titanic, the real reason for this story is to point out the arrogance and abuses rampant at the time in business, politics and society based solely on money and economic class. The lies and maneuvering by the steamship company and the insurance company to avoid having to take responsibility or pay for the disasters, the abuses John Rowland takes after returning to shore, even though he is a hero, simply because he is of low class, and the total disregard for lives and law displayed by the shipping company and the captain and crew aboard the Titan. These and much more are used as scathing attacks on the social and political problems of the time.