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A Walk In The Woods Analysis

Decent Essays
First-hand experience is undoubtedly persuasive. It provides a whole new context and subtlety to an event and can sometimes completely change the perception of it. Because of this, first-hand experience is extremely effective in arguments and holds a lot of weight. Argumentative pieces will often use first-hand experiences to support their claims, and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson is no different. Throughout the novel Bryson uses his own personal experience with hiking the Appalachian trail, Bryson creates an argument throughout the novel and uses his personal story to prove it. Bryson uses his own personal experience to prove his main argument, that Americans yearn for the days of old even though most of the nature in America is run…show more content…
Bryson believes that the reason for this is for people wanting to experience the beauty and simplicity of being surrounded by nature, and nature alone. He then takes this a step further by stating this yearning for the simplicity of nature could be translated as a yearning for the old days of America and the uncharted wilderness that encapsulated it. Throughout the book Bryson makes it clear that he does not actually have to hike the trail, however, he feels compelled and almost obligated to do so. This is most evident after Katz return to Iowa and the two take a break from hiking. During this time period, Bryson who is not obligated or forced to in any way hike does so anyway. He often finds himself driving long distances in order to hike more of the trail because he “...wasn’t at all ready to stop walking…” (Bryson 188) and stating that the trail was “...designed for pushing on, ever on, not for dipping in and out of” (Bryson 189) which both show his dissatisfaction with cutting his hike into pieces. Bryson’s growth is evident, with him turning from a person hesitant and cautious about hiking, into a character that was willing to go great lengths to continue his hike. However, Bryson soon realizes that he wanted to hike completely surrounded by woods, for days on end, not just to hike for an afternoon. This shows that he not only wanted to be a part of nature and the old but be surrounded by it for days or weeks on end. This again helps his argument by showing
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