The Wreck of the Deutschland: Stanza 14 - Summary

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      In the deadly darkness of the night they struck but not against a reef or a rock or a sandbank but got itself stuck at the Kentish knock at the mouth of the Thames. The ship fruitlessly struggled against the shoal as the high sea-waves had enough force to wreak havoc. The ship became functionless as its propeller, steering wheel and the compass got damaged beyond repair. It was difficult to steer or navigate the ship.

Line by Line Analysis

Lines 1-4: She drove in.....Kentish Knock: The sheltered side of the ship struck not against a rock but against a sand bank named Kentish Knock considered to be a large shoal at the mouth of Thames.

Lines 5-6: And the beat.....the wheel: The ship struggled unsuccessfully against the shoal but the high wave of the sea overpowered the ship with its deadly strikes. ‘Bow’ refers to the fore end of the ship. The ‘breakers’ means high waves which could destroy everything.

Lines 7-8: And canvas....she endured: The ship became helpless victim of the wind. After steering wheel, propeller, compass were damaged beyond repair. It became absolutely impossible to rescue the ship and the man.

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