Why did Margaret Devaney leave her friends

Delia Mahoney

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Oct 10, 2003
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Why???
I can't understand her. She and her friends, Kate Hargadon and Mary Delia Burns was going to Boat Deck. Kate became seasick and she couldn't go with Margaret and Delia. Delia stayed with her but Margaret went away. She got into Collapsible C , but the rest of girls died in the sinking. Why didn't she help her friends? Very strange behavior!
 
Mar 28, 2002
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Sometimes I've put myself in the position of people who left others behind that night and, although it's easy for me to say sitting here in land-locked Dudley, I would NOT leave my friends behind. I just wouldn't. Of course I wouldn't really relish the idea of drowning or freezing to death but how could I face their families and friends knowing that I stepped into a lifeboat, leaving them to their fate on deck. How would I ever be able to live with myself? But that's just me.

Cheers,

Boz
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hard to say - it's not entirely clear what happened to these three. Margaret told (or was reported as telling) several different versions of the story. In one she leaves the sick 'Kitty' in the care of Delia to recover her breath while she scouts ahead, and gets manhandled into a boat before she can return to them. In another her two friends stay behind only because they feel safer on the ship. In either case her own behaviour doesn't seem unreasonable.
 
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Jake Angus

Guest
Delia,

It's a natural human instinct to survive. Unless you've been through something like Margaret went through, how can you ask questions like this without knowing all the facts?
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Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>how can you ask questions like this without knowing all the facts? <<

How can one learn what the facts are without at least asking the questions and looking for the answers?
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Delia, I don't know if there's really any way somebody can give you an answer to this one. In any crisis situation, each person acts according to whatever gifts he or she may have. The instinct for self preservation is an overwhelmingly strong one, and this isn't always a bad thing. If we didn't have this instinct, our ancestors in the far distant past would never have made it off the African savannahs.

It takes quite a lot to overcome that instinct for the sake of another. Especially if that other person shows no interest or motivation in acting on their own behalf. Margeret may have believed that her chums would come along shortly so she saw to herself. She may also have come to the conclusion that they weren't going to respond proactively on their own behalf regardless of cause or need and decided thusly that there was no point in going down with them.

The problem is that even if she was alive, nobody here is capable of reading minds so we'll never know.
 
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Jake Angus

Guest
It's like Bruce Ismay being vilified for surviving -- he knew the vessel was going to founder, he had a wife and children in England. I've never found it unseamly that he survived and so many perished.

As Michael states, "The instinct for self preservation is an overwhelmingly strong one."
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Delia Mahoney

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Oct 10, 2003
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I think many people on the Titanic chose stay with their relatives/friends - and all of this group perished. For example Sage family.
But other people didn't notice travelling companions. They got into the boat without their and survived.
In my opinion many passengers had not instinct for self preservation.
But I agree with Michael about this - it isn't always bad thing. If we didn't have this instinct, our ancestors would never build RMS Titanic ;)


All the best,

Delia
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Dec 2, 2000
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Respectfully Dalia, (And I could be wrong!) I would maintain that the instinct was there, but was overpowered by other factors. A desire to stay with the family through thick and thin for example. Emotional bonds can be pretty overwhelming too. Ask Ida and Isador Strauss!

The problem from where I sit is that we're getting into pretty complex areas of human psychology that offer no easy answers. Only a wide veriaty of very complicated possibilities. If there's a trained psychologist out there who would like to speak on this issue, I'd enjoy hearing from one.
 
Jul 12, 2003
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I think that everyone has the instinct for self-preservation. Perhaps it is a by product of why we don't set in front of a moving car for example (common sense not excluded). But a person's love and familial bonds with people are often stronger.

Our opinions or reactions in actually going thru the sinking may be different had we been on the ship ourselves. Instead, we are in our comfortable homes, safe and dry and with enough time to think and rational our decisions with no worries or consequences.
 
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Dennis Foley

Guest
I had the great pleasure to have met Mrs. O'Neill in 1973--she was a great lady. I have always thought about 2 things here: (1) She and her companions were not familiar at all with the upper parts of the ship since they were 3rd class. Indeed, by the time she reached Boat Deck, Mrs. O'Neill might have lost track of how many decks below the other 2 girls were located. If she pleaded with a crewman to go "below" and look for her friends, he would have written her off immediately. (2) If it was C Boat she entered, it seems that there was not much time left. According to ANTR, Purser McElroy discharged his gun at Boat C to calm an unruly crowd. Any crewman would simply have placed her into the boat with no time to do much more than try to save his own life. Just a thought. Thanks. Dennis
 
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Laura Melinda Varjo

Guest
I'm sorry I don't have time to read all these above messages, but I'll just answer the question, based on what I think. Well, because it was like every man(woman) for him(her)self, I mean maybe I would have done the same thing, if I know I'm in great danger, and right next to a lifeboat being lowered right at that second. It's true I would feel kinda quilty afterwards, but I was placed in the lifeboat, and if I would have left it, I would be among them, the lost. But then again, I'm just talking, in school, for example, I wait for my friends everytime, and we stick around as much as possible, so I end up being late for my classes, and in Margaret's case, the lifeboat.

Laura