The Man in the Water

Topics: Human, Hero, Religion Pages: 5 (1868 words) Published: February 29, 2012
Daniel Beyene
English 101
Instructor: Dela-Cruz
Roger Rosenblatt in his essay “The man in the Water” describes how the heroic passenger in the air crash was determined to put his life on the line to save others. The man in the water dedicates all his strength to save the others in the water, handing over the lifeline and rope each time it was given to him. Even though there were other three acknowledged heroes at the scene, Rosenblatt focuses on the anonymous man and every detail of the essay emphasizes his heroism because he was brave enough to risk his life so others could live. In the end, he states that the man did his part of fighting the endless fight between the forces of human and nature. Then, he teaches us a powerful lesson, “…he was likewise giving a lifeline to those who observed him” (par 8) to all concerning the power of human nature and leaves us with a big question in our mind: “What have you done lately?” “As disasters go…” (Par 1) Rosenblatt compares the disasters that had happened so far with this one in particular. “It was terrible but it was not unique among the worst in the rosters of U.S air crashes.” He also mentions that accidents and death always surprise us even though we knew it could happen sometime in our life span. His comparison shows as that he is going to tell us something we have to pay attention about this particular event. He leads us to the fact that makes this event significant and worth awareness. Next he says, “And there was the aesthetic clash as well—blue-and-green. Air Florida, the name of the flying garden, sunk down among gray chunks of ice in a black river.” This part of the context denotes another aspect that makes the event very interesting. He points out that the clash between the plane and the water was also a collision between colors: the blue-green color of the plane and the gray and black color of the ice and the river. This method of painting the event using an aesthetic approach (If we turn it one way we see one colorful pattern; if we turn it the other way we see yet another), makes Rosenblatt an artistic writer. This technique makes his work more attractive and helps us (readers) to pay attention to it. As he continues describing the incident, Rosenblatt says, “Last Wednesday, the elements indifferent as ever, brought down Flight 90.” (Par 2) The force of nature (bad weather), not caring or having no concern of the damages that it might bring as a result of the blast, made Flight 90 to fall down. That’s true. Nature has never cared for what it brings about. We can’t reason with it nor have we control over it. We, definitely, can’t plea to its ‘humanity’. All we can do is to prove ourselves that we will never give up or surrender. For example, volcanoes will break out when they are good and ready regardless of how much loss of lives or property we might encounter. He also describes the agony and struggle of human nature to grab the floatation rings and save their lives, and the miserable battle in the icy water. In fact, some of the victims were observed to fight with the difficult situation to save their own selves; and others fought to save the disadvantaged; all fought showing or using their capacity against nature. On the other hand, Rosenblatt tells us that out of the four heroes; only the three lived and were able to give their alibi about what they went through to save the survivors. One of the rescuers, Skutnik said, “Somebody had to go in the water.” He meant somebody, including himself, had to respond with humanity to that life threatening and time sensitive matter. Skutnik was among the observers and when he saw one of the victims who was exhausted and lost her grip of the lifeline then plunged in to the icy cold water, he jumped in to the water and brought her safely to the shore. Rosenblatt’s phrase, “Delivering every hero’s line…” enables us to understand that there are too other courageous,...
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