Attitudes of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Topics: Mount Everest, Into Thin Air, Lhotse Pages: 3 (974 words) Published: January 3, 2013
Men can appreciate nature for both its beauty and harshness. Even in the inhospitable environment of Mount Everest, a climber can recognize both during his climb to the summit. In Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer records his trip in extreme detail, focusing on both his environment and the events that unfold around him. Krakauer uses several rhetorical devices to express his romanticized yet harsh attitude towards Mt Everest. The author uses both captivating diction and imagery to highlight his fascination with Everest while retaining an underlying ominous mood. Like many, the alluring quality of the mountain entices Krakauer and he becomes obsessed with the idea of conquering it. On the way to camp four, the author stops on the crest of the Spur to note that “the thin air had a shimmering, crystalline quality that made even distant peaks seem close enough to touch. Extravagantly illuminated by the midday sun, Everest’s summit pyramid loomed through intermittent gauze of clouds” (Krakauer 160). By using words such as “shimmering”, “crystalline”, “extravagantly” and “illuminated”, the author expresses the mysterious and enchanting beauty of the mountain and creates a visual image that allows the audience to experience and appreciate it as well. Although he is climbing in extremely harsh conditions, Krakauer focuses on the beauty of his surroundings, demonstrating his fascination with the mountain and his romanticized attitude towards Everest. However, by describing the mountain as “looming” through the “gauze” of clouds, the author hints at a harsh attitude towards Everest as well as a foreboding mood that is constantly surrounding him. Yet Krakauer is blinded by the elusiveness of Everest and recognizes the danger as an inescapable part of his journey to reach the summit. Furthermore, the author also uses imagery along with diction to express his attitude towards Everest and its surroundings. While leaving the Col, Krakauer notices that “the night had a cold,...
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