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Defining "The Right Stuff" By Tom Wolfe This Was An Essay I Submitted For English 102. The Topic Of The Essay Is A Definintion Of The Concept Of The "Right Stuff" As Explained In Tom Wolfe's Book

822 words - 4 pages

William TurnerEN 102American Military UniversityDefining "The Right Stuff"In his novel "The Right Stuff", Tom Wolfe chronicles the early years of the United States' manned space program. Wolfe talks about numerous young military men devoting their lives to forwarding technology while mustering up the guts to do it again and again. These pioneers lead America through the developments of rocket-powered flight and ultimately succeeding in breaking the bounds of earth and fly in space. The men that accomplished this were of a special breed that required unique qualities called "The Right Stuff." The Right Stuff, as described by author Tom Wolfe, is meant to be talents and qualities of the most ...view middle of the document...

Using mental fortitude to stare death in the face day after day and still accomplish the job can be part of the Right Stuff. A good example of this is when Wolfe says the astronauts "had volunteered to sit on top of the rockets, which always blew up" (93). In fact, during the initial testing phases of the Mercury system, there are numerous examples of how the rockets would fail during take off. There are also numerous references to how test pilots would perish in fiery crashes. These test pilots and astronauts still forged forward to the goal, knowing full and well that their lives were on the line.The Right Stuff can't always be put into words and is sometimes considered an air of excellence. Wolfe hints to this when he talks about a "feeling of superiority, appropriate to him and to his kind, lone bearers of the right stuff" (28). Then again he talks about the "feeling of rays from that righteous aura and that primal force, the power of physical courage and manly honor" (214). Finally Wolfe states, "Even the President would become...

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