A Walk in the Woods Essay Intro: •is a humorous, yet enticing story that desires for the conservation and appreciation of the commonly overlooked, Appalachian Trail •an initially “unfit”’ man w/ no familiarity to Trail makes a choice that will forever alter the way he lives his life •Although Bryson isn’t truly an “expert” on the AT, he still establishes his credibility as an experienced hiker by narrating his own witnesses to ultimately engage the readers’ attention towards the endearing App. Trail.
Through the use of humor and detailed accounts, Bryson establishes his credibility. BP1: Although Bryson does take the initiative to cross a path he has never encountered, hiking the AT, he cannot exactly be qualified as an “expert” because of his lack of total commitment to walking the trail. •As Bryson and Katz hike the AT, they continually take periodic breaks in which they indulge in amenities: “We had been a week on the trail and were going to town the next day…”(127). Bryson’s failure to persevere and remain on the AT depicts his disqualification as a true “expert”. Both Bryson and his partner, Katz, do not walk the trail to its entirety: “At one point very early in the trip he [Katz]…” (161). The fact that the men decide to come home and not finish what they came to start does not qualify Bryson as a truly skilled AT hiker. •Bryson even admits to his deviation from the AT: “I had done 870 miles…” (273) BP2: But although Bryson cannot be considered as an “expert”, through his use of humor and relatable character, Bryson does succeed in establishing himself as an experienced hiker. By discussing universal fears that exist within many who hike, Bryson is able to connect with his audience on a more personal level. Bryson looks at the reality of the book, Bear Attack: Their Causes and Avoidance and comments: “And how foolish…” (17). Bryson mocks the account but in a way that makes the reader re-think the validity of Herrero’s statement. •Bryson truthfully & humorously illustrates his first experience; “It was hell…” (35). Bryson blatantly gives the truth of what hiking is really like.
By staying on a more person level and expressing his true feelings, the reader can assume that Bryson truly understands the depths the AT holds. Rather than read detailed observations about one who is a diligent hiker, Bryson’s narration is a more enticing one because the reader is able to relate to an ordinary man who sees the truth about what it is truly like to hike the AT. BP3: Not only does Bryson’s humor contribute to his credibility as an experienced hiker, Bryson’s detailed observations about the AT inform and pique interest in the reader. ”In constant dollars…” (94) By recognizing this ridiculous fact, Bryson proves himself an informed hiker who has a deep concern for the preservation of the AT •Bryson’s experience in hiking the AT makes him come to a conclusion. “In America, alas, beauty…” (200). Bryson acknowledges a realistic viewpoint that most likely many Americans would agree upon. Bryson admits that he appreciates somewhat of a diversion from wilderness. He brings up the observation that if the AT was not all wilderness, more ppl might be attracted to this natural beauty.
Conclusion: •While Bryson does not fully succeed in being a true “expert” on the AT, he does establish his credibility as an experienced man trying to survive hiking the AT. Because Bryson is comical in his experiences and accounts on the AT, his intended purpose is quite evident: to display his new discovered love of nature and the AT, and also to display his distaste of the lack of preservation. And while initially, one may assume that Bryson could never gain anything from his journey, he proves that his decision to hike the AT forever altered his life.
Bryson recounts, “I gained a profound…” (274). Despite the fact that Bryson did not fully complete hiking the AT, what he did achieve from his expedition is what is significant. Bryson leaves the message to his audience that in life one may not always complete his/her goal, but the endeavor and effort counts for something. Bryson explains, “We didn’t walk…” (274). Bryson’s down-to-earth character not only qualifies him as an experienced hiker, it also qualifies him as one who has both learned and gained something noteworthy enough to remain forever instilled on his outlook towards life.