Decisions In Into Thin Air

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Dumbledore once said “It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” This quote shows that no matter how talented people are their decisions will reveal their characters. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer showcases the significance of decisions in three ways. First, according to Mr. Krakauer, choices reveal a person’s true nature. Second, a simple decision at one point in time can determine an individual’s fate. Third, a person’s choice can have a lasting psychological impact on himself and others. Within their prose both Dumbledore and Mr. Krakauer illustrate that decisions, no matter how big or small, have significance in a person’s life.

Ian Woodall, a South African guide, exemplifies how a person’s decisions reflect his personality. Ian’s stubbornness and decision to lie jeopardized his team’s safety. Woodall deceived people, telling
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If a climber decides to make an early descent from Everest or stops climbing and waits for help, the climber often makes the right choice. For example, as Jon made his descent from the summit, he came across his teammate Beck, who was sitting down. When Jon asked Beck what he was doing, Beck said that he had trouble with his sight and was waiting for their guide to help him back to the tents. With this choice, Beck ensured that he would not further harm himself or others in an attempt to reach the summit. On the other hand, the Sherpa Ngawang’s decision to not descend Everest would ultimately lead to Ngawang’s death. Ngawang refused to admit that he had contracted HAPE and refused to climb down the mountain(112-113). In the Sherpa culture, a Sherpa cannot become sick or acknowledge an illness. Otherwise, the Sherpa faces expulsion from future expeditions. Despite the doctor’s best efforts, Ngawang’s election to stay on the mountain made his death inevitable. As evidenced by these examples, one choice on Everest can predetermine a person’s

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