Monday, April 28, 2014

Why sail?

Far from answering the question, I felt as though the narrative of Arthur and Augustus’ near-death experience on the Ariel while drunk really made me wonder, why sail? You would think that such a terrifying, almost ridiculous experience would deter someone from pursuing similar adventures, however, it only motivates Pym to seek maritime journeys obsessively. At the beginning of the semester we discussed the fact that maybe the appealing side of adventure lies in the fact that it pushes people’s boundaries. That being taken to the brink of death is somehow invigorating, exciting, and appealing. I wonder if in this horizontal adventure, the motivation is the same. Pym is potentially seeking to escape the mundane of everyday life for the unpredictable life at sea.

I also enjoyed the fact that there was sort of an adventure within the larger maritime adventure. An adventure that, unlike what we have read so far, is less focused on the actual being at sea aspect. Much of this first section focused instead on the mutiny and Pym’s entrapment rather than on the actual difficulties and challenges of being at sea like Albanov or Lansing.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Isabel, I think the motivation is the same in horizontal adventures. I think that Pym wanted to continue to push himself to sail because his own life was too mundane. In my opinion, in almost every narrative we have read this semester, the adventure has had a transformative effect on the adventurer. For example, Krakauer was not the same person when he came down Everest as he was going up. The experience changed him. I think the same thing happened to Pym, or at least Poe used the experience as a literary tool to get him to the point where he would stow away onboard the Grampus. The closeness Pym came to death on the Ariel was a wake up call, I think. Yes he almost died, but it made him realize that he wanted a more adventurous life. It could have gone the other way too, where he would have decided to stay away from the sea. But either way, it was a transformative experience, and Poe chose to use it to get Pym aboard the Grampus to advance his narrative.