If ever you had to write a fictional adventure story, what would you write about? I’ve been asked this many times before in my previous English classes and for a while I didn’t really have an answer. Adventure stories are some of the best stories you can make up because they don’t have to follow a set of story “guidelines” like other genres do. Romance novels always have to follow along the lines of boy meets girl, they hit it off, they fight, they make up and live happily ever after. Roll credits… When it comes to adventure stories, anything can possibly happen. They can practically have any genre incorporated into the storyline and still be considered an adventure story. It can have a romance integrated into the story while still holding it’s adventure genre because the protagonist is running for his life away from a giant moving boulder after taking a golden idol off it’s pedestal. The possibilities are endless…
When we learned about the Franklin expedition, which although a bit morbid, I immediately thought this goes right along the lines of the classic adventure novel. The frozen tundra of the arctic, progress is slow through the treacherous waters, abandoning ship, setting out on foot for the hope of finding civilization. The epitome of adventure novels. With the Franklin expedition though, it’s a shame that what actually happened wasn’t just a fictional adventure story. Not one man who went on this expedition made it home alive. They had gotten stuck in the ice and waited two winters before they finally decided to abandon ship and make their way on foot. These sailors didn’t stand a chance because of their lack of land based survival skills. It’s been hypothesized that lead poisoning contributed to some irrational decisions that these sailors made because of the items that they attempted to bring with them when they abandoned ship. Normally, you would want just the bare essentials in order to give yourself the best chance of surviving the environment but instead they took items as ludicrous as a writing desk! If I were writing an adventure story about being trapped in the arctic, I certainly wouldn’t have said that the crew members took this preposterous items. I would think it’s just common sense not to bring big items like that but maybe the lead poisoning had a more detrimental effect than I thought… Also, if I wrote a story like this, I would at least have some survive to be heroes to the expedition era of Europe but I guess life just isn’t fair… who knew?
One thought on “Winter is coming(and it’ll sink your ship)”
I thought this was an interesting way to think about the Franklin Expedition! Adventure novels are right up my alley and I can see this being an amazing story. However, like you mentioned, this is not a fictional tale – it actually happened. Their decisions reek of inexperience in land survival, I mean, bringing a desk on journey towards the unknown? That could have worked in a fiction novel as a gag act, but it didn’t seem to fly in the real world. These decisions of adventure were pressured under having to wait through two winters stranded in the Arctic! Then there was the lack of food after so many days stranded which led to cannibalism and other horrors.
Although the crew was sent on a journey of discovery, they ended up biting off more than they could chew. Franklin, as the fourth and last pick for captain, was not prepared for the adventure set in front of him. If this were a story we could easily take out some of the horrible things that happened and at least leave a few survivors to tell the tale of the journey and survival of the Erebus through the Arctic. However, life is not fair and we can’t change the past.
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