Alive Book Report

Topics: Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, Nando Parrado Pages: 3 (973 words) Published: October 8, 1999
By: fred

The book ALIVE, by Piers Paul Read identified many possible themes, although I do think there are two that stand out. These two themes are survival and cooperation. Survival plays a major throughout the entire story. The most gruesome part in the story occurred when the remaining 28 passengers of the Fairchild were forced to cut up and eat there deceased friends and family members so that they would be able to survive. This drastic action was long disputed. This group of people went on for two weeks eating nothing but small portions of chocolate before they thought about their alternative food source. Secondly, throughout the ten weeks the survivors were in the Andes Mountains, which in the end was only 16 people, cooperation was a necessity. The one instance that stands out was on the last expedition when Roberto Canessa and Nando Parrado set off for civilization. For ten days the two boys walked the endless chain of snow covered mountains until they finally found a Chilean peasant. During these crucial days it was only their minds of steel and endless cooperation that got them through. Parrado and Canessa were the one's who saved their friends in the Andes. The setting in ALIVE gave you a real sense of how terrible it was for the Andes survivors. First of all, the Andes setting was basically what kept the survivors from being found by an airplane. The snow covered mountains blended to the roof of the Fairchild to a point where the plane was literally invisible from more than 50 ft. away. Secondly, the intense cold, which at night dropped to around 40 below zero, weakened many of the passengers. Since there was no proper protection against such extreme temperatures, many of the passengers who were already injured from the plane crash developed frostbitten limbs which eventually turned gangrenous. The passengers of the Fairchild were stuck in a very horrible situation. I can interpret and critique the end of this book, but first comes some background...
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