Tragedy and The Tragic Hero in Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Essay by White_0leanderHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2005

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Tragedy and The Tragic Hero

Into Thin Air

A tragedy is a story designed to arouse pity or fear in the audience so that upon hearing it, they are cleansed of unsettling emotions which are portrayed in the story. This catharsis is often brought on by hearing of a tragic hero in the story, or a person who is heroic, but is defeated by an error or frailty. In the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer; the true story of a tragic Mt. Everest expedition, the guide Rob Hall was definitely a tragic hero. His courageous efforts helped many of his clients achieve their dreams by reaching the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, Rob paid a tremendous price to do so.

Rob Hall was a very driven and determined person. On the expedition, he was competitive and compelled to get all his clients to the top. In his determination, he became bullheaded in his ways of going about the expedition, which may have seemed good ideas at the time, but later resulted in the overall tragedy.

This characteristic in Rob is known as a tragic flaw, or a fundamental character weakness. Rob Hall was an affable, caring person, and he never would intentionally put a person's life in danger, but climbing a great mountain like Everest can change a person's logical perspective. Rob became determined and focused on getting all his clients to the summit. This proved to be a major flaw because it affected his judgment of safety, and many people were put in danger as a result.

Throughout the expedition, it became apparent to many climbers that Rob was going to try his hardest to get everyone to the peak. He even bent a few rules to make his clients' dreams achievable. One such rule was...