Short-Answer Responses to Into Thin Air

1093 Words5 Pages
Considering the circumstances of the expedition, Jon Krakauer, the author, goes through significant character change. When contacted by Outside Magazine to write a story about Everest, Krakauer shows great enthusiasm toward the endeavor, saying yes “without even pausing to catch my breath” (26). When he reached the summit, Krakauer “just couldn’t summon the energy to care,” (5) showing his lost enthusiasm and eagerness to get off of Everest. At this point forward, Krakauer definitely changes. After going through many near-death experiences, watching nine die, and losing faith in everything, he turns into a “what-if” thinker, pondering all the possible outcomes and why the disaster happened in the first place. Krakauer “felt terrible for having survived while others had died,” (267) exemplifying his guilt toward the whole situation. He copes with his guilt in his hotel room by resorting to drugs; smoking a joint “down to nothing” (269) further epitomizing his emotions and proving the Everest expedition stuck with him and left him a changed man. (166 words) Andy Harris is a guide on Rob Hall’s hiking team along with Krakauer. Harris is seen as altruistic, as he put his life in danger to deliver “life-sustaining oxygen to Hall and Hansen” (226) which “was an act of heroism that would cost him his life” (227). His sacrificial act also displays his trait of unwavering loyalty, which unfortunately led to his death. Rob Hall was a veteran climber who was determined, passionate, and respectable. Hall proves his determination by climbing the Himalaya at age nineteen (32) and deciding to tackle Everest after digressing to Base Camp during his first trip to the Himalaya, although it took him ten years and three attempts (32) before he wa... ... middle of paper ... the rescue” during most of the desperate situations occurring during the crew’s time on the mountain. The supporting and assisting qualities of oxygen are displayed during times when a climber is low on oxygen, on the brink of hypoxia, but is able to secure a fresh canister of the life-saving gas. However, these qualities can be proven by Fischer’s actions without oxygen. According to the Sherpa, Fischer threatened to “jump down into Tibet,” (227) and was acting like “crazy man” (227). Fischer’s negative stance toward the descent could have been prevented with the use of supplementary oxygen, which would have played the role of supporting and assisting in the descent, and mentally reassuring him. Oxygen also proves that humans are not meant to survive at such high altitudes, and acts as a confidence booster—as long as you are breathing, you are living. (170 words)
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