Character Analysis: A Walk In The Woods

Topics: Family, Suicide, Bipolar disorder, Mental disorder, God, Short story / Pages: 3 (681 words) / Published: Aug 19th, 2015
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson In the book A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson and Stephen Katz, out of shape and having no real experience, attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail; a 2,000-mile stretch of trees, lakes, and rivers. The book outlines their sidesplitting adventures and the background of the Appalachian Trail. One can learn numerous facts about the trail, while also having a laugh.
While reading A Walk in the Woods, one can notice that Bryson’s attitude towards Katz changes tremendously. Well, that happens when you are stuck hiking a 2,000-mile trail with someone else for several weeks, right? At the start of the book, Katz is described as a comical man with a protruding belly, a former drinker, and most importantly, a man with a health problem. If he goes longer than an hour without eating something, he has seizures. Katz was incredibly out of shape. All of those factors contributed to Bryson’s apprehensiveness. Even Bryson’s wife was concerned about letting him go on a long hike with Katz. Then, as the book continues, Bryson begins to like Katz – he even grew attached to him. After all, they both had a similar sense of humor. When they drove back to Maine to finish off the Appalachian Trail in the Hundred Mile Wilderness, Bryson lost Katz. Bryson kept having visions of Katz dying in the woods, and
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He gained a newfound admiration for nature, and he especially understood the massive scale of the Earth. In the final chapter, Bryson states “I found patience and fortitude I didn’t know I had” (274). But did Bryson and Katz necessarily find their selves? Was hiking the Appalachian Trail a journey of self-discovery? In a sense – they did find out a part of their selves that they had never unveiled before. Katz found out that he could do things that he formerly thought were impossible, such as hiking 2,000 miles. In the end, Bryson and Katz were still their hilarious

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