Study Guide

Into Thin Air Perseverance

By Jon Krakauer

Perseverance

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Though there's truth to that statement, we're pretty sure that whoever thought it up never set foot on Mount Everest. See, perseverance is an important part of climbing any mountain (much less the tallest in the world), but it's not going to get you all of the way to the promised land. What happens when your body fails you? What happens when your mind fails you? In Into Thin Air, we see that the same perseverance that drives climbers to achieve amazing feats can lead them to keep plunging forward even when the odds have become insurmountable.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. How does Dick Bass influence future generations of climbers?
  2. Why does Scott Fischer keep climbing despite his exhaustion and poor health?
  3. Are any individuals ultimately hurt by their perseverance?
  4. Is Krakauer correct when he calls the climbers on Everest "mentally imbalanced"? Explain.

Chew on This

Although perseverance is a great thing in many instances, it almost invariably proves to be a harmful thing in Into Thin Air.

Although Scott Fischer is renowned for persevering through injuries, it was inevitable that this tendency would harm him in the end.