Ecology Essay, Research Paper
A number of aspects about the film, ?Captain?s Courageous? were quite interesting. The first is the gap between the rich and the working class. The second is the way the shipmates could work their way up the ladder to captain. The third aspect that interested me was the very high mortality rate. Apparently this was considered socially acceptable back then. I was intrigued about how much camaraderie and competition existed between the boats and their crews. Finally, I was amazed at the father and son relationship that took place with the fishermen and the future generations of fishermen. Many times the business is passed down from one generation to the next.
The fisherman headed for the Grand Banks to fish for cod. From the reading, it was necessary to move around due to the depletion of the fish population and competition from other fishermen (America and the Sea Handout, p. 85). One major correlation between the reading and the movie is the deep-water fishermen would go into a port every few weeks. Both the movie and the reading states this claim.
The gap between the rich and the poor was quite prominent at this time. Harvey?s family was rich and had money, servants, and many other luxuries that the rich could only afford. In the movie, Harvey treats people without respect and talks down to them. When Manuel picks Harvey from the water, Harvey?s first attitude is to talk down to him and order the crew to bring him home. The way he talks to the others shows how he feels about the crew and the lack of understanding he has about their work.
Fishermen handed their business down to their children. It was not unheard of to have a family business passed down from many generations. When Manuel was teaching Harvey to fish, he spoke of how his father taught him how to fish. Also, when Manuel was playing the instrument and singing, he told Harvey that the instrument and the songs were passed down from his father. Captain Driscoe?s son also worked on the boat during the summer months. He stated he would work up to becoming first mate and move up to captain. This was discussed in class and confirmed how the social class was designed at this time.
An interesting part of the movie was the type of equipment the boat crews had used. Some crews fished with a trawler net, while others, Manuel, fished by hand. A majority of the fishermen used nets to catch a greater quantity of fish (New England Fisheries P. 54). The nets were more effective in the fishing industry.
The mortality rate is the final aspect that was very interesting. The high mortality rate was accepted among the social classes and the fishermen. When Manuel speaks of his father?s death with Harvey, he shows no remorse that death had occurred, This directly correlates to readings in New England Fisheries (P. 47).
Captain?s Courageous is an interesting portrayal of the fishing life in the 1800?s. It directly corresponded to most of the readings and discussions in class.