The Donner Party was put in a very tough situation, being stranded deep into the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, without food for weeks at a time. The people had few options dealing with the future of their lives. Some of the choices that were made were: keep going along with the group, consume the body of another member of the group to live, or wait to die.
One of the families, who were the Reeds, stayed together without making the choice of dying or eating another member of the group.
This was not true though with the majority of the people. Many people decided to eat another person's flesh for their survival. After the trip was over, citizens at Sutter's Fort considered these people's choice of survival a form of cannibalism.
Not many people decided to keep going with the group. Keep moving, without stopping to eat another's flesh or wait and die.
This of course, wasn't the easiest option. It wasn't a very popular choice made by the group members either. This choice was only fulfilled by the mentally and physically stronger members.
One of the last options made was to wait and hopefully die in a short period of time. The conditions these people were traveling in were horrendous, which caused people to go crazy and want to commit suicide.
People didn't normally do this, but it was done.
The Donner Party was a gruesome happening in American history. It showed how the choices of waiting to die, cannibalism, or being stronger and walking out the trip was shown in the actions of these people. You will never know what you will do until you are put into the situation of these people.