Study Guide

Into Thin Air What's Up With the Ending?

By Jon Krakauer

What's Up With the Ending?

So that's… a little dark.

To be honest, Krakauer seems a little bummed that he survived. Mostly he feels a sense of guilt, both for not being able to do more to help his friends (Andy Harris, especially) and for making some serious mistakes in his initial journalistic reporting on the incident. That leaves him in a pretty serious funk—a funk that presumably remains until he finally achieves catharsis by writing Into Thin Air, which happens about a year after the disaster.

There is one ray of sunshine, however, and his name is Beck Weathers. In all honestly, Weathers is Into Thin Air's unlikely hero: a man who perhaps suffers more than any other individual but only becomes a better person for it. After all, the dude loses a hand and sections of his face to frostbite, yet still keeps his head held higher than our boy Krakauer. If Krakauer ever feels too down about things, he should just visualize Beck Weathers ranting about Hillary Clinton with as much passion as ever and feel thankful for what he has.

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