Throughout the semester, we have discussed the tension between reading about adventures and actually going out and experiencing them. The "man of thought" and "man of action" seem to be incompatible with each other. Thus, it is perhaps surprising that in his harrowing attempt to return to base camp, Joe Simpson turns not to his knowledge of survival techniques, but rather to Claudio's famous soliloquy from Measure for Measure: "Ay, but to die, and go we no know not where;/To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;/The sensible warm motion to become/A kneaded clod" (153). Yates' reliance on words he had not read in years demonstrates that art can be an important way for humans to process life experiences.
Simpson further reflects on the centrality of art when he discusses his recovery from PTSD. He says that writing the book and watching the movie were probably what allowed him to recover from the bout of panic attacks he suffered upon returning from Peru. Simpson emphasis on the way narratives have affected his life proves that though and action can, in fact, cohabitate