Short Answer Responses To Into Thin Air

1279 words - 6 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 ...view middle of the document...

His respectable character is displayed when Krakauer first meets him, describing Hall as “a skillful raconteur with a caustic Kiwi wit,” (31) referring to his high energy, amicable and easy-going nature. (194 words)
Although there are many conflicts throughout the entire climb, the main conflict in Into Thin Air is the struggle for survival on Mt. Everest after a dire storm strikes a climbing team during their descent, bringing much disaster with it. This conflict is characterized as man vs. nature conflict. As they approach the summit, the risk of dying increases, due to their increasing vulnerability to High Altitude Pulmonary/Cerebral Edema, frostbite, hypothermia, and impaired judgment (173). These deadly impediments are stay with them during their time on the mountain, and get worse in intensity. Krakauer forebodes impending doom for the group, informing the reader “nineteen men and women…caught in a desperate struggle for their lives” (195). When the descent begins, fellow climber Beidleman describes it as “total chaos,” (207) with climbers struggling to find tents or spare oxygen, but instead empty tanks. The blowing wind caused granules of ice and snow to lacerate their eyes, and added to the struggle for survival (207). The conflict of man vs. nature (Mount Everest), unknown to the climbers, only gets worse from here on out. (181 words)
Into Thin Air is presented in a serious, yet informative mood makes the reader in feel as if they really are climbing Everest. Krakauer’s impressive use of imagery, diction, and language facilitates in this realistic reading experience. For example, by using words such as “alarming,” “serrated,” and “notorious,” (9) the reader has a better understanding of the grand size of Everest, and is able to create images based off of their personal interpretations. Without these descriptive words, the reader would not be able to “feel” the tone of the mountain climbing experience. This initial use of imagery eventually sticks to the mind of the reader, and allows the reader to picture themselves in the ill-fated situations faced by the climbing team later in the storyline.
Krakauer’s use of diction used to describe each situation he faced sets the tone by applying descriptive words, depending on what type of situation he happens to be in. During the ascent of Everest, he describes an icefall as “a three-dimensional landscape of phantasmal beauty” (79). By reading this line, the reader can imagine Krakauer’s admiration for the view, rather than him simply saying something such as: “The icefall was pretty.” In turn, this also sets the tone for this section of the ascent: jovial and awestruck.
Although diction and imagery are important, language plays an even bigger role in conveying tone and mood. This can be proven by the...

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