What compels people to live? What motivates people to wake up in the morning and go on living their so called merry lives? Many would say it is their God, and others, their will to make a difference in the world. The truth is; it is the human mind that is set to learn new things and explore new possibilities that keeps humans active and moving. After reading To Build a Fire and A Blizzard Under Blue Sky I discovered it is the desire to understand nature that drew the characters, in each story, to nature. It was their desire to accomplish something in nature that attracted them to it. On the flip side it was the depth of understanding nature that determined how successful they would be in their given situation.
In To Build a Fire the character was educated, and had a general understanding of nature. The man was eager to explore nature and wanted a challenge, in return for this challenge he expected something. He expected to achieve an internal feeling of success and gratitude. This is what compelled the man to take on such a terrifying journey. This man would never have taken this journey had he not been partially guaranteed a reward for his hard work. The same reasoning, as to why people explore nature, may be applied to A Blizzard Under Blue Sky. The clinically depressed women in the story needed help in her life; she turned to nature for help. "The machine that drives you is broken. You need something to help you get it fixed." "I said, "Winter camping."" Pg 185. This is an example of the character turning to nature for help. The lady was looking at nature as a way to relax and come to her right mind. If the lady was not expecting to feel any better about her self after the winter camping trip, she would have never attempted to take her journey into the wilderness. The lady in the story could just as easily gone into her bedroom and watched a movie, but she knew that without actually going to nature and spending time alone she would not get the benefits form it.