Isolation In The Appalachian Trail, By Bill Bysson

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While walking through his New Hampshire home, author Bill Bryson happens upon a section of the Appalachian Trail and decides in the spur of the moment that he wants to hike the entire trail. After researching everything he can about the trail and gathering supplies, he realizes that he needs a partner, so he asks everyone he knows. Unfortunately no one wants to go with him other than an old friend and recovering alcoholic, Stephen Katz. Even though Bryson didn’t think Katz was the right choice, someone was better than no one, so they headed down to Georgia to start hiking. Since starting the gruesome hiking trail they both come to different conclusions about all the different aspects of the trail. Though Bryson thoroughly enjoys the experience…show more content…
I came across the theme many times while reading because of the way Bryson wrote his book. Many times the two men would come across other people but most of their time was spent alone. He says on page 71 that “Even at busy times, however, the woods are great providers of solitude, and I encountered long periods of perfect aloneness, when I didn't see another soul for hours.” Bryson himself enjoyed the time of being away from all the hubbub of normal life saying, “Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It’s quite wonderful, really.” (Pg. 100) Katz on the other hand did not enjoy walking every day and often complain about how terrible the whole experience was. At the end of the book after Katz talked about how lonely he was showed me another example of isolation in a different way. Not just isolation in a physical sense, but in an emotional one. This type of isolation is one of the main reasons why Katz resorted back to

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