Now that the book is finished, and I’ve looked back on my three previous blog posts regarding the different lenses which I could view the story through, I now see clearer than ever what lens proved to be the most effective in helping me gain insight and productive thought on the book and its elements. This lens is that of archetypal criticism. For mental imagery, the ideas that arose were a little too philosophical and far fetched to be really good in my own opinion. Sure the content has some meanings that I thought were neat at the time, but looking back, it seems like my thoughts were less of a direct influence from the book and more of the ideas I was already thinking of at the time.
Also, the third post regarding the feminist lens was more or less general in my opinion. Nothing against the feminist lens, but it just didn’t seem to fit the situation. Usually a lens or theory based on social equality is fitting in storytelling analysis, but in the case of non-fiction, facts are facts regardless of what people may think, and therefore trying to analyze the author’s intent or underlying message is useless and unfit for the situation. Therefore because of these reasons, I think I’ve decided that the most beneficial theory to my experience with this story is my second blog post: the analysis of archetypal criticism. By finding the archetypes, I was able to work around what to expect from the characters presented to me, and I was able to make assumptions, connections and choices on how to feel about the characters and their situations based on their supposed archetypes. This made the reading experience a lot easier to grasp, as well as giving me a clearer sense of purpose when driving through the book.
After all, when I’m able to connect to characters’ personalities and traits, I can be more motivated to read up on how they see their situations through. Knowing Jon wasn’t a hero archetype from the start and leaning more to the explorer archetype, I knew not to expect a great deal of heroism, and instead work on seeing him for his adventurous desires and motivations. Though his type took a more heroic role in my mind by the end of the book, and even more sage-like in the very end when he looks back on himself in reflection, all of this helped me analyze how to look at the situations he and the other climbers were in, and what to look for in their character moving forward. All in al, Into Thin Air was a deeply interesting read, with strong archetypes and a lack of certainty that makes the story all the more relatable to real life, which non fiction retellings should always do.