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In David Quammen s Walking Out , David enters the woods of Montana as
a boy and leaves a man. The tragedy that happens to him and his father will
change his life forever.
When the boy and his father first arrived in Montana David was not at
all happy to be there. He did not have the best time the year before and
didn t want to go. As soon as he got to Montana all he could think about was
Evergreen Park and his life at home in Chicago. The sheltered life he had
there was so different from the rugged outdoors of Montana. The boy was
babying himself, saying he could not sleep in the hut on the mountain and
asked his father to bring a tent. David is a young boy and has not fully
understood people at this point in his life. His father talks to him much and
many of the things his father say to him do not penetrate, he doesn t care
much about the cabin or about his Grandfather or whatever else his Dad is
trying to tell him. His father tries to pour out his soul to him, telling him
someday you ll have a son and you ll want so badly for him to know who
you are you could cry. When David first hears this it does not make much
impact but as the story goes on and he grows it means more and more to him.
This incident embarassed him more than anything else.
Getting your hand practically eaten off and watching your father die
would change any person. David, in Walking Out becomes a man. He
was faced with the advisory of being stuck in the woods alone with a
wounded man on his back. He delt with the problem, stopping at night and
building a fire to help keep his father warm. Cooking cubes of cub fat to
feed his dying parent, building beds in the snow for them to sleep on, and
keeping them both alive. David also learned how to fend on his own in the
wilderness. While his father was incapacitated, the boy killed, cleaned, and
ate a grouse on his own. He realized many things on his walk out, the
importance of his father, the cabin which his father so dearly loved, and the
respect for the wilderness.
As David goes on with his life he ll realize what the week that he spent
hunting actually meant. He went through a and his life will never be the
same. He won t baby himself as much or think only about himself. When
his hand was first all he could think about was how bad it hurt but he fought
against it because he knew he had to and the bravery he showed will stay
with him for the rest of his life. I believe David will take his son hunting in
the cabin in Montana because now he sees the importance of it. Passed down
from generation to generation David will take good care of it.
In short, this tragedy would cause heartache for anyone, but it did help
David in growing up. After one week David gained a lifetime of wisdom
and learned many new ideas which he never would have learned in Evergreen
Park. David entered Montana as a boy and left an outdoors man.
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