Many bad decisions, such as Fischer pushing through his debilitating illness and Hall ignoring his turnaround time to see Hansen reach the top, reflect an inability to control that ambition. The dream of achieving that ultimate goal blinds both clients and guides to the costs of their actions. Into Thin Air is in many ways a classic tale of man's attempt to tame and conquer the powerful forces of nature. A figurative battle between the strength and will of each climber and the inhospitable environment of Mt. Everest plays out over the course of the entire narrative, and indeed in the history of human exploration of the mountain as well.
The low levels of oxygen above 25, feet, sub-zero temperatures, harsh solar radiation, and powerful storms are all examples of natural obstacles that the team has to overcome to complete the expedition. In addition to this individual challenge, there is a sense of competition among the climbers over who can "win" most convincingly, partly leading to Boukreev's decision to ascend without oxygen, and to the unspoken race between Hall and Fischer to see who can successfully guide the most clients to the summit.
Defeat in this battle against nature takes both voluntary and involuntary forms, and emphasizes the importance of good judgement. Characters like Kasischke and Taske gave up ahead of the summit, recognizing their likely loss; 12 other climbers continued to fight until their literal last breath. The theme of belonging underpins broader questions about the value of commercial mountaineering and who should have the right to even attempt an ascent of Mt. Hall and Fischer's teams are representative of how commercial mountaineering has allowed amateurs to summit Mt.
Everest without the proper skills, training, and experience to do so. Characters like Namba, Weathers, and even Krakauer himself rely on their guides to survive the expedition, and Krakauer admits that they wouldn't stand a chance of reaching the summit otherwise. An argument exists that everyone should have the right to follow their dreams and ambitions, but for mountaineering purists, these relative amateurs are seen as taking the easy road to the summit, and one that needlessly increases risk for everyone on the mountain.
The theme of death is present throughout the story, but evolves from an abstract concept into a concrete one from beginning to end. Krakauer makes the strong link between death and mountaineering explicit through the stories he tells of numerous climbers, both skilled and amateur, who perished on the slopes of Mt.
How to Teach "Into Thin Air"
However, as he admits near the end of the book, he himself had never come face-to-face with death, and the thrill of tempting fate served as a kind of motivation to climb rather than a deterrent. It's not until he is on the mountain that death starts feeling uncomfortably close--symbolized by frozen corpses on the side of the trail and accidents that take the lives of minor characters on the expedition.
Ultimately, death becomes an overpowering reality, filling him with grief, guilt, and a newfound recognition of his own mortality. Why did they have to spend so long at base camp? What was the "mousetrap"? What is a sirdar? Into Thin Air study guide contains a biography of author Jon Krakauer, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Into Thin Air essays are academic essays for citation.
into thin air – Nameera's Blog
These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Remember me. Forgot your password? Buy Study Guide. The climbers needed to become acclimatized to the thin air and altitude. The Mousetrap is a giant overhanging tower at feet.
A Sirdar is the head Sherpa. Duke, Helen N. This article describes the effects of hypoxia on the body and uses a study about hypoxia that was done on cats. The cats reacted to hypoxia in a similar way that the human body does. The article cites its own sources and uses plenty of experimental evidence to support its findings. It is relevant to my paper because I will use it to describe why Andy Harris could not think lucidly in situations that required him to have good mental concentration and decision making skills.
Hackett, Peter H.
The Theme of Arrogance in Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
It also describes studies done on various groups to see how their bodies react to AMS. Although this source is short, it explains the experiment well and has plenty of data to back up its conclusions with. It also cites its own sources. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.
An Analysis of Responsibility in Into Thin Air
Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. It's nice to have a viewpoint from somebody on the "inside". I heard Krakauer received a lot of criticism for writing the book so fast after he came back and that his emotional state would naturally affect his viewpoint in the book. However, I wasn't there, so his word will have to do if I am analyzing his book. I'm afraid the conclusions reached here are typical of what happens when the author knows little or nothing of the environment they are pontificang about.
As someone who was there, and knew all the players mentioned, I can safely comment with knowledge of the topic. Concluding that Andy harris was putting his group at risk when he was ill on the tek to basecamp is idiotic and is in no way related to what happened much later on when he was up on the mountain. The inferance that he was hypoxic more than anyone else when he went up to assist Rob Hall is merely conjecture.
John Krakaur had to fill a lot of gaps in his knowledge of the events as they unfolded and made many serious mistakes at the time, especially in respect to the whereabouts of Andy Harris.
Thanks TahoeDoc, comments like yours are always appreciated. You have a very interesting hub on the matter too, which is why I decided to link it. Thanks again :. Great job! Well-researched and an interesting read. I read it because it's a subject that interests me greatly as a former mountaineer not nearly of this caliber and doctor who occasionally deals with altitude sickness in patients, not myself, usually : living at feet elevation.
I had no idea that I'd find a link to my article at the end when I was thinking I should link mine to this-- so thank you for that unexpected pleasantry. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
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To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Laura Writes more. Map of Mt. Notes 1:When the source of a quote or event that occurred on Everest is not specifically cited, its source is Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. A Roger Thompson, and Matthew Bates.
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The Technology Museum of Innovation, Kenneth Kambler talks about his experience with the disaster. Anyway, very nice hub, voted up and interesting. Sign In Join. Connect with us.