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Synthesis Essay Comparison Between Frederick Douglass And Jon Krakauer

1083 words - 4 pages

It is sometimes said that nothing in life that is worthhaving comes easily. I have noticed that what oftenseparates those who attain their hopes and dreams fromthose who do not is that they possess a certain driveand determination to stop at nothing to achieve thosedreams. Although the two individuals Chris McCandlessand Frederick Douglass lived in different time periods,and grew up in totally different environments, theypossessed the will to overcome whatever obstacles lifepresented them and achieved the goals that they set forthemselves. Chris McCandless was determined to live anunconventional, nomadic lifestyle like those of hisidols Henry David Thoreau, Boris Pasternak, and theJules Verne character Captain Nemo. Growing up, hewaited until the time was right to begin his journeyacross the country and into the wilderness. JohnKrakauer wrote: Five weeks earlier he'd loaded hisbelongings into his car and headed west without anitinerary. The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullestsense of the word, an epic journey that would changeeverything. He had spent the previous four years, as hesaw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty:to graduate from college. At long last he wasunencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of hisparents and peers, a world of abstraction and securityand material excess, a world in which he felt grievouslycut off from the raw throb of existence. (22) Later inthe book we were again given a glimpse of Chris's grittydetermination to achieve a goal that he had set forhimself.During his travels Chris stopped in the small dustytown of Tapock, Arizona. It was there that he noticed anold secondhand canoe which he purchased in an attempt tofloat from Lake Havasu to the Gulf of California. Duringthis adventure down the Colorado River Chris traveledthrough the Colorado River Indian Reservation, theCibola National Wildlife Refuge, and the ImperialNational Wildlife Refuge, and across the border intoMexico. He was unaware of the fact that once in Mexicothe Colorado River turns into a maze of irrigationcanals, marshland, and dead end channels. At one pointhe follows a map drawn by a group of Mexican canalofficials he had met to no avail. He found himself at adead end in the middle of the desert. He did not give upthough. Instead he carried his canoe and gear for threedays to a new canal to continue his quest for the sea.After traveling for several more days Chris once againfound himself lost and stuck in swampy marshland. Bychance he met a group of duckhunters who after hearinghis tale of wrong turns and dead ends agreed to take himto the small fishing village of El Golfo de Santa Clara,located on the Gulf of California (34-35). At severalpoints along the way Chris could have easily given uphis quest and turned back, but he would not allowhimself to fail. This is the same type of determinationthat can be seen in Frederick Douglass.Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Tuckahoe,Maryland during the early 1800's. He was...

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