Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside Film study

The Sea Inside used many unique angles and movement in the camera to make the movie more enjoyable. One thing in particular was the camera's constant tilt high angle shot that made it seem as though Sampredo was immobile. Also when his paralyzing accident occurred they had a pan that followed Sampredo's dive into the shallow water. One last shot that I saw that had a very unique feeling to it was when he dreamed of flying. A tracking/dolly gave us a personal view of what he was seeing through his eyes. It showed how wandering his mind really was.

Compare DBATB with The Sea Inside

I think both stories are very alike. Although both paralyzed, Jean Bauby had a little worse of a condition. Because he could not move anything but his left eyelid, while Sampredo could still talk and move his head. Their situations were the same but I think that Bauby still felt a reason to live, and Sampredo had lost one. I think Sampredo's story is more powerful than Bauby's. Sampredo made his whole country watch as he was in a very controversial situation. He wanted to die while many others wanted him to live. He made many people love him during the time. He wanted to die with what dignity he had left.

Personal Reaction to The Sea Inside

I think The Sea Inside was a very political movie. It brought up a very big political topic that's very controversial today. It shows that not just America has there political issues that are debated very heatedly. I think it was fair for Ramon Sampredo to get doctor-assisted suicide. He had a right to die especially in his condition. Although not terminally ill, he had wasted his life away on his bed for over 20 years and wanted to die with what dignity he had left. I think his friend that helped him in no way should be punished. Her actions we're motivated in a way to help a man in a terrible condition.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reading Section 6: Into Thin Air Part 2

Trusting Makes a Difference

Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air, experienced a tragic event in his life. As he was climbing Everest he’s expedition encountered very many deaths including many of his own teammates. Krakauer had more of a reason to just tell the story of this tragic sequence of events. Krakauer wanted every reader to know that the story is about trust. Trust is so important in this book; it led to some of the deaths in this story. He show’s this by explaining these deaths and near-death experiences, his strong words that define trust for him, and the strong loyalty shown by his guides during the storm.

As Krakauer climbed the mountain he experienced death all around him. As his expedition was ascending he felt his first taste of death as two climbers die from climbing accidents. This makes Krakauer very aware of death, it could happen to anyone on the mountain. “In climbing, having confidence in your partners is no small concern. One climber’s actions can affect the welfare of the entire team. The consequences of a poorly tied knot, a stumble, a dislodged rock, or some other careless deed are as likely to be felt by the perpetrator’s colleagues as the perpetrator.” (38) Krakauer’s realistic thought fits in the story because bad communication and small mistakes by his team causes many of the terrible events that occur. Death eventually knocks on his door when he runs out of oxygen and believes he’s going to die. This happens because one of his teammates accidentally turned the valve the wrong way, he trusted his teammate but it didn’t help.

Another thing that Krakauer does to show how important trusting people is the use of his words. His words are heavy and they carry deep meaning. When he writes them down it really makes the reader think. Krakauer explains, “… Boukreev realized they must be in trouble and made a courageous attempt to bring oxygen to them. But his stratagem had a serious flaw:” (211) Krakauer uses loaded and strong words to make the reader feel the importance of this sentence along with sentences. They emphasize the importance of trust, in his opinion, that is needed to successfully climb the mountain.

Krakauer’s team was in a very perilous situation. Although most would die, the guides chose to try to save other’s lives even at the cost of their own. Hall, Harris, Boukreev, and a few others all found themselves in situations to save others or at least try when the storm came. In one example Krakauer describes Lopsang, “ Lopsang was huddling with Fischer on a snow-covered edge when Makalu Gau and his two Sherpas appeared out of the howling blizzard…. ‘I stay with Scott and Makalu one hour, maybe longer.’” (228) This quote shows that even in the face of trouble Lopsang chose to stay and help Scott Fischer even though it seemed like a doomed fate.

The tale of this book is not just to tell a story, it is much more than that. Krakauer wrote this book to teach the reader the importance of trust. In his extreme case, many people were killed due to lack of trust and also bad timing. Krakauer proves this with experiencing death and near-death experiences, his loaded words, and the extreme loyalty by his guides. Trust is a very important thing, Krakauer shows this in his story.

Reading Section 6: Into Thin Air

As the Japanese climbers are approaching the summit, they encounter 3 Indian climbers that were in critical condition. They choose to ignore them and continue to the summit. The surviving teammates in Krakauer's expedition are very tired and in very bad conditions for continuing the voyage down the mountain. They find Namba and Weathers, which they left behind during the storm. Weathers had his sleeping bad blown away and everyone thinks he's dead. But they end up finding him again alive. One of the Sherpas gets hit by a rock and almost dies, but then a second rock comes down and kills him. A helicopter brings two of the climbers in critical condition to safety while the other's are safe to climb down on their own. Krakauer talks about how he's trying to figure out what happened in that event when he went back home. He determines that simple mistakes lead up to the disaster. Krakauer feels guilt for what happened there. He could have possibly helped someone who was dying there he thought.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reading Section 5: Into Thin Air


Jon Krakauer doesn't celebrate his ascent that much because he realizes he doesn't have much oxygen and needs to make haste. As he's walking down Harris turns his valve on his oxygen tank all wasting all his oxygen by accident. He independently descends the mountain and when he arrives at his tent he celebrates reaching the summit. Also a blizzard is arising. Many things occur that leads to the tragedies. As one of the guides leaves to get more oxygen and leaves the climbers alone to descend. The climbers get lost and the guides start trying to find and rescue them. But they leave two people behind thinking that they could not save them. Also Hall and Fischer are missing. Krakauer at first, believes that Andy Harris successfully got to camp, and tells many people. But then he can't find him and someone tells him what had become of Harris. Many people try to help and save each other, especially the guides. They stick with their team and try to help them descend. This eventually leads them all to a doomed fate because they become too tired and ill to descend. Hall's death is one of the more tragic ones, because they know where he is, but it is almost impossible to save him. He radios the camp and they tell Hall to that they can't rescue him and he'll have to descend on his own.

Personal Reaction

I think the reading here becomes very tragic. This is when all the terrible deaths begin and the true acts of courage also begin. Although not extremely credible the description of the deaths are very sad. His descriptions are not very credible because he was proven wrong twice with what he thought occurred during the day his almost all of his team died. The events that occur in this reading section are the climax of this book. All the suspense leads up to this part and the foreshadowing does too. Everything bad that could have happened happened. Though the deaths were tragic many people showed great acts of loyalty. As they stayed with each other through the end, and especially the guides tried to save every climber they could find. The story is all suspense up to this point till everything just explodes and people start dying. Although not unexpected, some of the details were shocking and the ways in which some died. Death can occur and it is very real. It can happen anytime, anywhere. Just because you can climb Everest it doesn’t make you invincible. Although this is the climax there is still much left in the book. I don’t know what’s to come or what it’s about, but now that he’s told us of these events there’s really little to tell in his story.

Reading Section 4: Into Thin Air Part 2


Krakauer and his team begins to have troubles climbing the Lohtse Face. He starts to think of his team more as equals now that he realizes that they are having problems too. He then begins to feel a little guilty for climbing Everest as a journalist. Krakauer's team begins to have some health problems. Harris has a near death experience as he is hit with a boulder and it frightens everybody. But then Chen Nu-Yan falls from the Lohtse Face and survives but hours after it happened, he suddenly collapses and dies. His team begins ascending very quickly but people are very distant from each other. They don't really feel connected and they would have to change that to make it to the top. Ropes being secured is starting to become a problem, and it could affect them later on. Krakauer finally reaches the summit of the mountain but realizes that his journey downwards will be very hard.

Reading Section 4: Into Thin Air

As quoted in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean Bauby, "Whereupon a strange euphoria came over me. Not only was I exiled, paralyzed, mute, half deaf, deprived of all pleasures, and reduced to the existence of a jellyfish, but I was also horrible to behold. The comes a time when the heaping up of calamities brings on uncontrollable nervous laughter- when, after a final blow from fate, we decide to treat it all as a joke." (Page 25) This quote is very important in the book. This quote describes how Bauby is living and in what conditions he's living in, and somehow he manages to laugh at himself. Even with this dreadful syndrome he's making the best of it, and sometimes can have a laugh. It's importance is shown throughout the book because his constant positive feelings towards life is very apparent as sometimes he describes dreams and pleasant memories.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reflection on Diving Bell and the Butterfly

My thoughts of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are mixed. I thought it was a good book, yet I had some difficulties reading it. It had some parts that I could not understand and there wasn’t much description on it for me to understand. There, however, were some parts I really enjoyed. It was written in a unique style of writing I am not used to encountering. It had new words that I learned. It was a complicated story and it all lead back to his main idea. That even though he was encased in this “diving bell” his mind was a butterfly and it traveled to all sorts of places. This I liked, because it constantly reminded me of what his condition is, and all the challenges he most overcome. The story in itself was amazing, but I thought there were things he needed to explain more. He’s description on how this “locked-in syndrome” happened was not very good and was very brief. I wanted to know what caused his stroke and such… Another thing I would have like to seen was more description on the events that occur in the chapters. Bauby in the beginning of his chapters would talk about a dream or story, and sometimes it did not occur to me right away. Anyways, I thought this was a good story, but it could have been better. His hardships were always reminded to me in the book, while I still would like to learn more about them. The inspiring story is remarkable, but if it were told to us in a different view (not what he is feeling all the time) and told to us what his actions were I would have enjoyed this book even more. The book could have focused more on his current state over his past life and his dreams.

Reading Section 3: Into Thin Air Part 2

Week 3, Part 2

So far I think the book is very intriguing. The book is very descriptive and tells the story well. It builds up a lot of suspense and the foreshadowing is great. Some weaknesses of this book though are that it seems that he writes about things that don't relate to the story that much. They are little anecdotes that have little meaning and kind of stray away from the book's main topic. This book really brought up the awareness of death in my eyes. Death can happen anywhere and anyplace. It happens to some unexpected people and some people can also see it coming. The on thing about death is there is always a chance it could happen. The book brings up many topics about the people's characters. Character and personality are very important with trust. Trusting someone can determine your safety. I think that many people are going to end up dying in this book. There is a lot of activity and conflicts between his teammates. So far i really enjoy this book. It's very suspenseful and sad at times too.

Reading Section 3: Into Thin Air

Week 3, Part 1

Krakauer begins talking about climbers who had very little experience attempt to climb mount Everest. He refers to most of them as "dreamers." Luck is very important to climbing Everest. Krakauer, for the first time, experiences real death on Everest instead of hearing stories about deaths. Two people die while attempting Everest which makes the presence of death very real to him. Krakauer then talks about how fast the media figures out about things on Everest such as these deaths. Everyone on the mountain had some other reason besides just wanting to reach the summit. HIs team of climbers starts getting frostbite and experience bad weather. The team begins fighting with each other and causes lack of cooperation. He then talks about the Sherpas' customs and rituals which foreshadow the events to come.


Jon Krakauer was born on April 12, 1954. He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon. He went on to get his degree in Environmental Studies in Hampshire College. Married Linda Moore in 1980. He was a writer for Outside magazine where he published many articles for them. IN 1983, he became a full time writer. He had always shown his love for mountain climbing in lots of his articles. In 1996, he successfully ascended Everest, but on his descent his expedition suffered many deaths in a horrible storm. Four out of his five teammates died in that storm. He published his first book in 1996, Into The Wild. He continued to write, Into Thin Air, his most famous book about the tragedies that occurred on his Everest climb. He wrote one other non-fiction book, Under The Banner of Heaven, in 2003.