"The Struggles of an Individual" This essay compares two books, October Sky, and Into thin Air. This leads the author to a few conclusions about his life and what he is becoming.

Essay by phillysellerHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2004

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Sometimes in life, we make goals not worthy of completion. In mountain climbing, one's goal is to reach the top of the mountain. To accomplish this goal, one needs a strong team of climbers each willing to perform individualized tasks and contribute their share towards the summit. Into Thin Air focuses on the conflicts and decisions made on top of a mountain one eerie day as opposed to the glory and satisfaction of reaching the top. This, however, is not what I directed my focus on when reading the books. Instead, I examine the effects of two different protagonists in two different novels. The characters both directly and indirectly provide fuel for a dream canonizing by the demonstration of success. Indeed, these are inspirational in teaching how one should continue to pursue one's goals despite adversity or lackluster intensity.

John Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air, introduces the struggles of a mountaineer's adventures on Mount Everest. He creates a vivid scene of the deprivation, physical pain, and mental anguish that every mountaineer endures. More personally, however, he narrates his own adventure along with his own struggles to finally reach the summit. Prior to Everest, Krakauer had little experience in climbing, or surely not enough to safely conquer Everest. He makes difficult decisions regarding food, oxygen, supplies, hygiene, and, most importantly, logistics. With egos swirling and arrogance in the air, Krakauer tops the summit and achieves his life-long goal of climbing Mount Everest, thus ending his novel regarding the struggles of Everest.

If life were a game of poker, it would appear that Homer Hickam, the lead character in October Sky, has been dealt a dead hand. Homer aspires to work for NASA as a scientist, but this is near impossible living in a town where boys are...