Essay by ianlehrerCollege, Undergraduate August 2004

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Undaunted Courage

The novel Undaunted Courage provides a detailed description of the Lewis and Clark journey. The purpose of the Lewis and Clark expedition was to explore the western frontier. Stephen Ambrose, the author, used letters addressed to the president, journal entries from both Lewis and Clark, letters from Thomas Jefferson, and other written documents as implements to chronologically exemplify the sequence of events before the expedition, during the expedition, and after the expedition.

In Undaunted Courage, there were many themes in attendance. The most obvious themes were growth/development and journeying. In the beginning of the novel the western portion of the United States was a ambiguity to Americans. The anonymity quickly altered after Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which doubled the size of the United States. Many attempts have been made to explore the western frontier, however they have all failed. The journey of Lewis and Clark to the western frontier was the first successful voyage.

Lewis and Clark brought back ample amounts of good information, and unfortunate information, for example, the fact that there was no direct water-route across the country. The author's thesis expands on extension and exploration in the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Although several people were involved in the Lewis and Clark expedition, Captain Clark and Captain Meriwether Lewis were the most vital. Captain Clark and Captain Meriwether Lewis met each other in the military where Captain Clark was forced to leave as a result of family issues. Captain Clark was a very well-liked and valued man. Captain Clark also had a medical background, which was crucial later in the novel. Captain Meriwether Lewis was a man who settled for nothing less than perfection. As a young boy, Captain Meriwether Lewis had an urge for exploration as well as travel.