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Metaphor and Ecocriticism in Jon Krakauer’s Mountaineering Texts

  • Author / Creator
    Jewett, Alicia A
  • This study examines Jon Krakauer’s three mountaineering texts, Eiger Dreams, Into the Wild, and Into Thin Air, from an ecocritical perspective for the purpose of implicating literature as a catalyst of change for the current environmental crisis. Language, as a means of understanding reality, is responsible for creating and reinforcing ethical ways of understanding our relationship with nature. Krakauer’s texts demonstrate the dangers of using metaphor to conceive nature by reconstructing the events of Chris McCandless’ journey to Alaska, his own experience climbing The Devil’s Thumb, and the 1996 disaster that occurred during his summit of Mount Everest. By acknowledging that metaphors, which include nature as a refuge, object, and antagonist, Krakauer also speaks to the Western habit of conceptualization through binaries. This study aims to highlight Krakauer’s method of dismantling these environmentally unethical metaphors, and subsequently the Western binaries that support them, through the use of metacognitive reflection, writing, and diction.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2012-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3094G
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Comparative Literature
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Jonathan Hart, (English and Film Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Marg Iveson (Secondary Education)
    • Irene Sywenky (Comparative Literature)
    • Jonathan Hart, (English and Film Studies)