Monday, April 28, 2014

Alcoholic Adventure on the Ariel

After reading the introductory chapter of the drunken adventure with Augustus on the Ariel, I was initially confused as to why this had been included (other than to grab the reader with a hint of excitement and fear). Rather than curb his desire to adventure and thrill, this near-death experience only adds fuel to the fire: “It might be supposed that a catastrophe such as I have just related would have effectually cooled my incipient passion for the sea. On the contrary, I never experienced a more ardent longing for the wild adventures incident to the life of a navigator than within a week after our miraculous deliverance.” (pg. 13) How could Pym’s experience in the Ariel not leave a lasting impact? Moreover, why follow Augustus onto the Grampus? However, the farther I read into The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, the clear purpose of including the story became clear. This chapter highlights how Pym exaggerates/embellishes the details of his story, and led me to question the reliability of the narrator. This chapter also demonstrated some of the more implausible and unrealistic elements of the story. While it seems impossible for these two shit-faced sailors to survive their voyage, incredibly both are saved - even Augustus who was drunk as a skunk and had to be tied upright. C’mon! 

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