Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Structure of the Narrative

    There is an undeniable pattern through which the mountaineering narratives that we have read this semester are constructed. Apart from Into The Void, all the other books start by introducing the different characters of the story and also introduce the reader to the organizational skills required in order to even start the expedition. Although The Eiger Sanction presents climbing from a fictitious standpoint, its narrative is constructed similarly. We initially are introduced to the main character and realize that the first half of the book describes the conditioning that he will undergo in order to be prepared to achieve his final sanction.  As we are slowly getting closer to the actual climb of the mountain, the action rises. The mountain in this novel seems to be a metaphorical representation of the narrative construction of the novel. Joe Hemlock wants out of the CII but in order to be able to leave his past behind, he will need to climb the Eiger and murder one of the mountaineers that will be attempting the climb with him. Although Hemlock is not a summiteer, the final sanction that Joe is assigned appears to be his end goal and thus his summit. The narrative of the Eiger Sanction is constructed in the same way as the narrative of the preceding nonfiction book that we have read. There is a conditioning phase, followed by the actual climbing that finally results in the relatively successful “assault” of the summit and after that we always experience the final descent. So far, it seems that Hemlock is following this pattern. 

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