Did I really just ok cannibalism?

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Which character do you identify with the most in this unit's readings, and how does the author build that identification?
If I had to pick one character that I identified the most with, I would probably have to pick Richard Pine (Survivor Type) based on his will to live and his unwavering state of optimism.  I know that if I was stranded on an island, and had the ability to write on something, that I would have most likely done the same thing as him.  I would have started to write my life story down in hopes that it would keep my mind off of being stranded and off of the seriousness of the situation.  I as well would have been focused on developing some type of system to appeal to rescuers—like he did when he spelled out HELP with the rocks on the beach.  The only thing that I would have been a little more focused on would have been developing some type of shelter/weapons.  He seemed content just laying down near a tree and soaking in the sun/shade, but who I am I to judge considering I have never been stranded on an island.  I might be a little fed up with life at that point too, and tell the shelter to f*** itself. Ha-Ha.  Nevertheless, I admire his state of mind (in the beginning) and his logical response to go about living on the island.

While Richard did come off as rather cocky and conceited, I did admire his need to excel and the drive of his ambition. The author built this identification with me by giving me a look into Richard’s past, and showing me what Richard had to do in order to get himself through college and the emphasis that he put on his career.  At one point in the story, he stated that after his football games (which ended up getting him a scholarship to college) he would ice and wrap his hands to keep them in good shape for when he attended medical school.  In high school (and as much as possible now) I would write every day before I went to sleep in order to help me become a stronger writer, whether it was in poetry or prose.  His drive reminds me a lot of myself, because I am very passionate about my studies so in that sense I can see where Richard is coming from in working to achieve his goals.  This also showed off in how he dealt with his situation, because he never once stated that he thought he was going to die, or that someone wasn’t going to come save him.  He was very optimistic and never wavered on the notion of being saved.

Richard was also very good with his problem solving techniques, and I like to think of myself as being good with finding alternative solutions to difficult situations.  He stalked the gulls and developed a method to killing them (most of the time), and also hunted for crabs as well as looked for fish and edible plants.  He was doing what he needed to do to survive…including amputating his foot when it became infected…and then eating it when he started to starve…including the rest of most of his body.  Now in regards to that… I think that I could amputate my foot in order to survive, and I probably would have gone about it the same way that he did (in a drug induced state). But…the cannibalism thing is a little much for me, and I think that I would rather starve to death rather than eat myself…but I guess I can’t make that judgment until I’m in the situation (Ewe…did I really just say that…gah).

Nevertheless, I think that I mainly identified with the fact that he was completely focused on his will to live.  He was going to do whatever it took for him to survive, and frankly, I find that quite admirable.  I’ve been tested a lot in my life, and put in a lot of difficult situations, but I have always come out strong, and I think that we def. have our strong drives in common.   


Mike Arnzen said:

This is one of my all time favorite stories, so I'm glad you got a kick out of it. A lot of us can identify with the 'type' for when it comes to determination to survive, but do you also feel he deserved what he got? Is Stephen King given Pine poetically just desserts? Think about what attitude King might be taking toward this character, and what character traits he might be critiquing as well.

Stephanie Wytovich said:

I sort of do feel like he got what he deserved, because of how cocky and conceited he was. He was so sure that he was going to be rescued that at times I feel like he didn't really try to put that big of an emphasis on trying to locate a plane, or grabbing someones attention. But at the same time, if you just amputated your foot and were in some severe pain (while on drugs) I don't know if I would be all to focused on building a fire to attract attention, haha. As for the whole eating his own body...wow. I guess since he based his whole life on his body and didn't really 'live his life' because of his career...it does make sense that that should be the thing to go in the story.

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