Valerian Albanov’s trek across the polar ice appears to be guided by the power of hope. It seems that the never-ending icy surface continuously discourages the ten men attempting to return home and flee the harsh conditions encountered. Although the environment doesn’t provide much hope, as the men are unable to visualize their final destination, Albanov’s hallucinations and dreams give him and his men hope that pushes them forward, “my story immediately eased the previous evening’s discouragement (…) I too was influenced by the optimistic theme of my dream.” (47). Throughout my reading of the first half of the novel, I realized how important hope is in order to keep moving. It seems that although the natural conditions surrounding Albanov and his men were extremely discouraging, they were all using their dreams or hallucinations in order to regain hope and walk further. It seems that the fuel allowing them to walk was food and hope, “the disastrous state of the terrain we had to cross often depressed us, but our spirits revived rapidly and we found new energy whenever we met with unexpected good fortune.” (47). I would argue that the exploration of the polar ice cap and the survival of Valerian Albanov was mainly made possible by his mental strength rather than his physical strength.