Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Sharon  Creech

Casey  Corbett 
Engineering and Environmental Factors that Caused the Titanic Disaster

Sharon Creech: The Effect of Parental Absence on Adolescents

“There really isn’t a yesterday or a day before, which is weird, because then what is tomorrow? And what is last week or last year?” (The Wanderer 53). Sharon Creech shows the complications of adolescent life and the questions and uncertainty they face when parents are absent. Many teenagers encounter hardships they need to overcome and they need love, support and guidance in order to do this. Without these positive forces adolescents fall to pieces. In Creech’s novel The Wanderer, Sophie journeys to England to see her adoptive grandfather and along the way finds herself. Through the help of a strong support network she realizes the truth about her past life and comes to terms with it. In all of her novels, Sharon Creech shows the hardship caused by a parent’s absence and how adolescents’ lives are negatively affected. Through the help of others, the characters develop a sense of identity and strive for greater goals in their lives.

Just as Sophie goes on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean, the passengers aboard the Titanic traveled across the Atlantic for new opportunities, to visit family and friends, and to start a new life. Many did not know that they would fail to reach their destination and never see loved ones again. When the Titanic hit an iceberg, construction problems and a lack of organization among the crew caused many deaths. Thomas Andrews, the designer of the ship, laid the framework out for the Titanic and directed its construction very skillfully. Although the shipbuilders at Harland and Wolff Company worked hard to construct the best ship possible, many problems remained that led to the sinking of the ship. The ship’s construction could not withstand hitting the iceberg; after the collision, the ship sank and many lost their lives. The construction problems included the failure of water-tight doors and a boiler room fire. Other problems included a failure to respond to an iceberg threat, lack of organization with lifeboats, and lack of communication between the Titanic and other ships on the Atlantic. These failures led to a tragic loss of life.

Major Works Consulted:

Brewster, Hugh and Coulter, Laurie. 882 ½ Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic. Toronto: Madison, 1998.
Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
---. The Wanderer. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.
Green, Rod. Building the Titanic. Pleasantville: Carlton, 2005.
Photo Credit: Creech, Sharon. Absolutely Normal Chaos. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.