What Drives Us To Preform Actions: O-Rings By Sarah Stewart Johnson

889 Words4 Pages

What drives us to preform actions even though we are aware that they may have a negative effects on us? Sarah Stewart Johnson, the writer of the essay “O-Rings”, challenges the reasoning as to why people do the things that they do even though they are cognizant of its harmful nature, how. In the essay O-Rings, Sarah speaks on her travels to Antarctica and Castle Rock (a distant volcanic outcrop jutting through a glacier) and the great tragedies and chilling demise of the Challenger explosion and the five men who traveled to the South Pole, but died on the return journey. Sarah was at the time, twenty-six years old and in the middle of her graduate work as a planetary scientist and went to Antarctica to probe for traces of life beneath the snow. …show more content…

In the beginning of the essay she described the two isolate huts that were built by British Navy Captain Robert F. Scott; the first hut was built at the dawn of the age Antarctic Exploration. The huts were prefabricated structure that in reality, no one had ever expected to live in, but in desperation the crew members settled there and ripped from the ceiling to burn the rafters in exchange for a few hours of heat. Sarah shared her own experiences with the frigid cold as she spoke about how she would “rise and don the dozen layers of thermal underwear and goose down” she had been issued. She also spoke of the climate that she faced while she researched this region of the continent that was known for its similarities to Mars. “The ice had to be at least a meter thick; if not, it would buckle beneath us”, “a completely calm afternoon could be swallowed be katabatic winds howling off the East Antarctic ice sheet”, the white clouds could merge with the white snow; the light could become so diffuse that shadows disappeared, making it impossible to judge distances or distinguish the horizon”, all of those quotes were taken straight from text that Sarah Johnson had said. Sarah was completely aware of quite a few of the very negative possibilities that traveling to this distant region could have on her, but she chose to trek to this area anyway,

Open Document