A Walk In The Woods

A Walk In The Woods

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Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” is a book that epitomizes the struggles that one needs to go through in order to better themselves. This is evident with the main characters. They are two middle aged men named Bryson, a man who resideds in New Hampshire and Katz, Bryson’s overweight alcoholic college friend from Iowa. When he thought of someone to accompany him, a grumpy college friend named Katz came to mind. As they started off, Bryson started off with the goal that the trail was only being hiked as a way to see the grand nation of America, but it lead to so much more as it uncovered many important topics. This is true because the trail was filled with adventure in discovering America’s heartland and realizing their own personal problems. Through this, the men conquered many areas of their life that they were not strong in before including fitness, cooperation with others and finally, specifically, Katz addressing his personal issues. Therefore, even though they didn’t complete the entire trail, which was the original goal, they achieved something else that is more important, conquering their personal flaws, thus making this trip a complete, utter success.
On the trip the ambitious men took on this huge task, they realized it was going to be a challenge, but did not fully realize that it was a near impossible task for the human body. For example, as the men packed for the strenuous journey, Katz decided to buy many unhealthy treats for the journey. Specifically, this occurred when Katz and Bryson first went to the market before heading out on the hike. Katz picked up snickers, cookies and chips, all of which are not food that people should be eating while their enduring an intense physical task. Furthermore, while they were at the beginning of the trail, they ate noodles which aren’t healthy for hikers who need a lot of energy. However, as time started to go by, the men started eating healthier food and as a result, had more energy to hike more of the trail. Specifically, they went from doing around eight miles a day to approximately sixteen miles a day on average. As a result of this hard work, the once overweight and lazy Katz began to get very inspired about hiking and exercise in general and ended up reinventing his lifestyle after this. Therefore, the men had conquered another key in their success, by being healthy adults with endurance.

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“God’s goal was to put me with every single annoying person you can possibly imagine” This was the quote that Bryson stated when describing his luck in being kept in company by the most obnoxious people. The interesting point regarding that statement is that a clear picture of Bryson’s quick tempered impatient personality. Moreover, Katz is also painted in an impatient manner when hiking on the trail, “…as Katz hiked, you could hear the absolute vulgarity spewing from his mouth, even from far away.” This also reiterated that both men were both short fused, and quick to lose their tempers. However, an incident occurred when their growth as patient human beings was evident. Specifically, this occurred when the men encountered the drunken couple. The men sighed in anguish when they realized what they had to do, get in the car with them and let the couple take them to the nearest motel. The couple was loud, obnoxious and drunk, but the impatient Bryson sat there and kept his mouth shut and therefore, he had finally learned the art of diplomacy, which is a key example of their success.
At first sight, Katz was a large man who seemed to live an unhealthy physical lifestyle, however mentally everything wasn’t good as well. For example, sadly we learned that Katz was once an alcoholic and currently recovering from the abuse done to his body throughout his lifetime. His alcoholism was the first step in leading to his lack of self esteem and self confidence. Furthermore, Katz has not had much success when dealing with romance as well so, this trail was a way for him to feel competent again. Specifically, during the trail he constantly seemed to be flirting with local town ladies, but no success gained because most of them were either completely deformed, or worse, already married. Moreover, as Katz was large, he felt embarrassed about being slower than what it seemed as everyone else on the trail, but he didn’t let it defeat him and plowed away and fought many battles with himself throughout the trail. This was evident while on the hike, Bryson was far away from Katz and saw him pushing through the trail waddling through all the pain he felt through manifestly, the most difficult physical endurance test known to man. This was crucial because this aspect added to his gain in confidence and self esteem because he felt like he could accomplish anything he wanted to. Finally, as Katz didn’t complete the trail, in retrospect, he gained the confidence he needed in order to pursue his dreams.
“A Walk in the Woods” has many moral lessons, but the most important lesson is that one must not give up when times get rough because that is when one can truly shine, thus creating their own personal success. Manifestly, this was evident throughout this book because many situations dealt with flaws and struggles whether they be Katz’s ability to hike up a steep hill or Bryson’s prmsobl when dealing with obnoxious people. All of these hold the basis that when there is a struggle, the only direction available to go is forward. Moreover, this novel showed that success doesn’t come from only achieving the original goal, but the steps that are on the way, or the process. For instance, Bryson and Katz didn’t actually complete the actual trail fully, but they achieved other minor goals, which in the end we far more important than actually finnishing the trail in it’s entirety. Consequently, this book truly showed the importance of personal success and how each success can help get rid of a harmful, venomous flaw.
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