Essay on The Effect of Nature in Winterdance

632 Words Sep 22nd, 2012 3 Pages
Winterdance, a non-fiction narrative by Gary Paulsen, is a firsthand account of Paulsen’s journey in the Iditarod, where the main character, Paulsen, exemplifies bildunsroman throughout the book by altering his perspective of animals. Paulsen’s attitude toward nature changes dramatically as well throughout Winterdance due to his companionship with the sled dogs, experience with other animals along the race, and adjustment to trail life.

Not only did the dogs guide him physically through the Iditarod, they also guided him mentally. At first his difficulty with training the dogs led him to believe that “any sane man in his forties and had a good career going would quit now and go back to the world of sanity” (9,) showing that he is
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Throughout Paulsen’s odyssey in the Iditarod, dog sledding and nature became a way of life. He believed that “Weather, trail, life, it all seemed the same. If I tried to change it, get away from it, it would lessen my effectiveness; By accepting, rolling with it, and making the best out of things always seemed to work out for the better” (94,) proving that he is accustomed to nature and eventually prefers it over normal life, as he starts to fell more comfortable with it than before. Later on, when he feels a severe desire to scratch, he looks at cookie and ahead of the trail instead and “any ability to scratch was removed” (187,) showing that he is putting the race above his needs, and it has become the ultimate priority and interest for him. By his tone, he seems not only surprised but staggered by the effect that nature has on him. When a man in Unalakleet (a fellow musher) offers to have him move him and his family to move up to Alaska, he reflects on it as “an invitation that has never left [me], it is still alive when I think of the coast, the Bering sea” (239.) By Paulsen’s tone, he sound fascinated still by the offer, showing that nature and the trail has become a permanent part of him. Paulsen reveals his disposition towards nature differently throughout the book, as he transitions from an animal slaughterer to a compassionate, nature loving

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