Monday, February 25, 2013

The Other Side

I found it interesting that Jamling was a man placed between two cultures. He had more education than his fellow Sherpas, being of a higher class than them and seemingly growing up quiet affluent. However, even though he is a Sherpa, he is a full climbing member of the expedition. He is expected to act as liaison between Sherpas and climbers. Jamling has lived in America, so he is a hybrid of unique experiences both Eastern and Western. He says, "While living in America, I had adopted the genial and humorous mannerisms common in the West, yet they sometimes felt forced and calculated," (Norgay 28). While he has been exposed to and can engage in aspects of Western culture, he feels more at home in Eastern culture. I thought this was an interesting contrast in viewpoint, obviously because he isn't a Westerner. However, he doesn't only see one side of the puzzle, as our prior narrators have. He can see both sides with some clarity.
I also thought that Jamling's goal or motivation for climbing was much more selfless than all the ones we have encountered so far. He feels as though he cannot really understand his father unless he stands atop Mt. Everest like his father once did. Others are motivated by a good story or some self-actualization, or even commercialization. Jamling climbs to carry his father's legacy. I think for that, more than for anyone else except maybe Blum (who was climbing for all women), I wanted Jamling to succeed. It really reminded me of the statement that there are other Annapurnas in the lives of men and women. His metaphorical Annapurna was reconciling the relationship with his father, which many readers can relate to easily.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely found this to be true as well. Most of the Americans that were described in this book were presented as if they were acting out of self benefit and self indulgence, but the Sherpas were there with different motives. Though the Sherpas were there for the monetary gain they also reveled in the religious experience of being on top of what they viewed as divine. When Norgay describes the three Sherpas that died climbing the north face of Everest he says says that they died pursuing something that they truly felt a connection with. However, all ulterior motives aside, the mountain turns people in to animals who are fighting for survival more than anything. Beck's story of somehow fighting down the mountain for the sole purpose of survival shows that Man, Woman, Nationality, or Religious beliefs do not mean much. What is important up there is the will to survive.