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Rhetorical Analysis Into Thin Air

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The passage in question is taken from Jon Krakauer’s personal account of his endeavour to summit Everest in 1996, and it is a description of Jon Krakauer’s experiences while at approximately 21,000 feet on the mountain itself. The book is called Into Thin Air, and was published a mere year after the tragedy that struck the team headed by Rob Hall, the founder of a mountaineering agency: Adventure Consultants. In this specific extract, Krakauer uses vivid imagery and similes in his description of the surroundings to show the obvious peril that climbing the most formidable peak on the planet entails. Additionally, he deploys diction that conveys his initial shock when he sees the corpses, as opposed to the other climbers, who seemed to be fairly…show more content…
Moreover, he could have done this to engage the reader a bit more to induce shock in them too. In example, when Krakauer first encounters the corpse, he says he was “shocked and disturbed” (14), whereas later on, following his discovery of a second corpse, he says that the “shock of encountering the second wore off almost immediately” (30-31). This shows that by the time he encountered the second corpse, he fully understood and accepted the dangers associated with the climb, and had recognized that he would have to move on anyway. This quality can be extended to all those who successfully climb Everest. They are very likely to see a few dead bodies on the way to the summit, and the first one would undoubtedly rattle them, but after that, they would feel the need to put their fears and values aside to push on and reach the summit.

The passage definitely showcases Krakauer’s excruciating journey, even through a mere 35 lines, but also conveys how Krakauer matured as a mountaineer just after seeing one dead body. An “unspoken agreement” is also talked about, which highlights the figurative weight that the climbers must have been carrying during their endeavor. Lastly, through this extract, it becomes evident that climbing a mountain, or facing any challenge in life, is bound to induce a certain maturity and acceptance in everyone. A certain acceptance of the fact that life is hard, and that hard work must be put in to achieve any
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