Comparison and Contrast of “It Couldn’t Be Done” and “Columbus.”


Essay #6 ENG 1100

The two poems I chose to compare and contrast have a positive feeling to them. Both show perseverance, having faith in your self and being optimistic, while their styles and the way they deliver the message are quite different.

In “It Couldn’t Be Done” the author talks about a hard to complete task, just like in “Columbus,” and how you can succeed when you are persistent. The way not to give up is to be optimistic and not let the obstacles that come your way get you down. Both authors stress that, you must always keep working towards what you want to achieve. Furthermore, they maintain that if you have faith in your self you will succeed.

Both poems repeat a main phrase that transmits the message of the authors. In “It Couldn’t Be Done” this phrase is “That couldn’t be done, and he did it” and in “Columbus” is “Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on.” The repetition of both phrases reiterates the theme of perseverance, telling the reader never to give up.

Even though both writers have the same message, they deliver it differently. With “It Couldn’t Be Done” the message is given straight forward to the reader, stating that when people think a task cannot be done, it can, in fact, be accomplished when you try. On the other hand, Miller, in “Columbus”, conveys the message more indirectly. The reader has to find the message himself by searching through the story of Columbus and his crew. At times when his crew felt that they would never find land and that not even God would know if they died at sea, all that the Admiral said was “Sail on…” and because they did not give up when times were hard they reached their goal at the end. Just as in life, perseverance is the only road to success and both authors work to convey this to the reader.