The Role Of Survival In James Dickey's Deliverance '

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Survival is a pivotal condition that can reveal many different insights within the modern human condition through its revealing near death experiences. These kinds of experiences transformed the main survivalists in James Dickey’s novel, Deliverance. Dickey sets the arena for survival in a forest that is inhabited by murderous men who are in pursuit of the four main characters. These four businessmen men decided to take a canoe trip to temporarily get a break from their jobs, only to encounter death, pain, and most importantly survival. These conditions test each characters instincts, especially Ed, who is responsible for bringing the rest of the surviving men back to safety. This environment forces the men to make many decisions that often leave the men in a state of hopelessness and desperation. Through these traits they exhibit and situations they encounter, their masculinity is constantly being tested which can reveal their deeper insights and logic. Through…show more content…
This position of survival happens when Ed doubts their chances of survival because he is the only capable one to lead them towards survival: “I looked at the dead man. You're dead, Lewis, I said to him. You and Bobby are dead (Dickey 201).” At first, Ed is overwhelmed with the idea of being the hero and leader for the rest of the story because he considered Lewis for that position. But Ed gradually begins to manage and adapt to the survival environment and continually preserves the lives of the group of men. Through Ed’s realization that he can successfully survive these extreme hardships, his boundaries of his tenacious masculinity has been unveiled to himself which is part of his personal revitalization from the trip. Ed remade and proved his own masculinity to himself through critical times of survival that displayed his masculinity all the
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