analyze Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and any other contemporary story Ex( Hangover, In To The Wild)
Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found
Wild is a very entertaining book by Cheryl Strayed. The original publication on March 20, 2012, explains Cheryl’s two months hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Inspired by events in her life beginning with the short illness and the death of her mother in 1991, Cheryl decided to take a hike. This death led to the beginning of the downfall of her life as explained in the blazingly Honest Memoir.
After the death of her mother, her stepfather distanced himself from Cheryl and her siblings. Her sister and brother also remained distant from Cheryl. These events together with Cheryl’s divorce from her husband led her involvement with Joe, who introduced Cheryl to heroin. After the divorce and the heroin use, Cheryl found herself facing the worst time of her life. In the book, she explains how she discovered that she was pregnant for Joe but had to procure an abortion since she had only met Joe shortly after her separation with her husband, Paul.
After her divorce, Cheryl realizes that she had lost everything and that it was time for her to start afresh. She decides to take on the rough terrains of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) on her own to try to gather her thoughts.
The goals of the book are clear and simple. Cheryl’s book explains how her life fell apart and why it fell apart in the first place. She also explains how she tries to get it back in line with the hike to the PCT. Cheryl’s life fell apart because of her mother’s short illness, which subsequently led to her sudden death. In Chapter 1 of the book, Cheryl explains her mother’s diagnosis that tested positive for lung cancer. Her mother was not a smoker, so this news came as a surprise to Cheryl and her mother. The doctors gave her mother a year, but she died in a month’s time. The death of her mother marked the beginning of Cheryl’s nightmares and her cheating that was the end of her marriage. At this point, Cheryl went to visit her friend Lisa who had lost her mother three years earlier in Portland. While at Lisa’s place, Strayed met Joe who she moved in with and Joe introduced her to heroin. The first chapter creates a picture of why Cheryl needed to rebuild her life.
In the book, Cheryl also explains the splitting of her family in chapter 2. As Cheryl was getting ready to begin her hike in Mojave, she found a cheap motel where she remembered her husband’s last words before their divorce. He told her that she was finally alone, as she wanted, but Strayed never wanted to be alone, she just never knew what to ask for when it came to love. Strayed tried keeping her family together, but she realized that she could not do it as she had hoped since her stepfather Eddie, and her brother drifted and distanced themselves from her.
Strayed also explains how she began the hike. She began the walk from Mojave by putting on her hiking gear. She also checked pack that had everything that she needed for the walk. She also had with her the guidebook that had inspired the hike in the first place. She became aware that she was not ready for the hike when she looked at her heavy pack, but she also knew that she had to go.
As explained by Strayed in her book, the hike was not a walk in the park. She faced real dangers in the wild with wild animals ready to attack at any time. On the third day, Cheryl explains that she already had blisters since the hike was hilly. The cold, rain, and snow also posed a real danger. Strayed had carried some books and poems for entertainment and to keep her calm during the hike. As the hike toughened, Strayed grew tougher and stronger, she no longer wanted to quit, she became motivated to complete her hike.
In chapter nine, Strayed explains how she thought had gotten lost in the woods and compares it to her heroin life, which was the part where she lost her life until Paul her ex-husband pulled her out. She also explains the challenges she faced during her hike and how she faced them. For instance, she suffered physical fatigue but she kept her body strong and fought the fatigue to keep going. She also faced hostile animals like the fox in chapter 9, but this never made her turn back. The snow, the rough terrains, the fatigue, the wild animals, as well as her financial situation during the hike were some of the challenges Cheryl faced but still held her headstrong.
While hiking, Strayed met new people who helped her reach her cause. Some were hikers like her while others were just strangers on the road. She met people who gave her food and shelter as well as help her clean up. The other hikers helped her learn the terrains and taught her some few tricks of dealing with the snow. Some of the strangers like Jimmy Carter gave useful information about the trail.
Cheryl explains all her troubles and how she tackled each and every one of them. She describes how she faced the extreme heat of the terrains as well as the hostile men in the woods. As she completed her hike, she had earned the name Queen of the PCT from some of the other young hikers. She had also learned that life was all about mysteries and troubles and what mattered was how she tackled each one of them.
Positives and Negatives
As much as the book is entertaining, it has a few flaws like the fact that it has too much suspense. Cheryl does not mention anything about what became of her exes, Joe, and Paul. She also does not say what happened to the rest of the hikers; do they still keep in touch? Was the hike the end? Strayed also fails to shed light on what happened to her stepfather and his new family, did the remain in contact after the hike? In her book, Strayed does not mention her sister a lot that leaves a lot of questions like why? Were they close from the beginning?
On the other hand, Cheryl explains vividly the rough terrains and how everything relates to her life. Cheryl explains in detail how she tackled each and every challenge she faced during her hike. Cheryl also explains what happened to her after the hike and the book has a positive, happy conclusion for Strayed.