Saturday, August 15, 2009

Failure

In Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson goes to Pakistan intending to climb K2, "The Savage Peak", but as the title of chapter one suggests, he fails, or does he? How was Mortenson among the real heroes of the expedition to K2? Why would you make (or not make) the same kind of sacrifice, a sacrifice of a life goal?

4 comments:

  1. In the Chapter Mortenson did not reach the summit of K2, but I believe his greatest achievement was climbing down the summit in which Mortenson said was “fairly arduous” (Mortenson and Relin 14) to help their teammate Fine reach lower summit to be evacuated by the military. I believe if I was ever to be put in the same kind of sacrifice I would, I believe that saving a life is very important no matter what person goal we have because that can be done later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Although it is said in the story that Mortenson finally couldn't reach the peak of K2, but it doesn't mean that he failed. He failed because he saved his friend. I am sure that the ultimate purpose of climbing K2 is not about looking for popularity, I believe it as a journey to discover the real side of himself. And it is said at last he realized the absolute limit of his. In my opinion, when we can be a hero for someone else, we will find out that we are needed in this life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The title of the chapter is ironic, because while Mortenson and his team do literally fail in what they set out to do (namely to scale the complete height of K2 and allow Mortenson to leave his sisters necklace there) they succeed in the far more difficult (and and morally necessary) task of saving their friends' life by abandoning their climb in order to get him safely down. Thus the author might be saying that abandoning ones own personal pursuits in order to fulfill ones moral responsibility is not a failure, but in a society where personal pursuits often encompass the lives of its people, and where a sense of moral responsibility has largely gone out of fashion, the choice of Mortenson and his team might indeed be seen as a "failure" on their part. A failure of doing what they want to do regardless of how it might hurt others. This might have a greater meaning as the novel goes on, because of course the man that the author chooses to praise the most (Mortenson) is the same man who has dedicated his entire life that he could otherwise use to his own pursuits (getting rich, getting drunk, or getting anything that he could hypothetically want) to doing what is morally correct in helping as many people as he can.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mortenson may have failed in his original goal - to clim K2 but on the ascent and descent, he is able to accomplish much more than he had previously come for - in the name of friendship.

    He makes personal sacrifices for the better good of his friends, showing Mortenson's compassion, good will and respect for others. This is most important, and most likely far more important that his original desire to climb K2.
    Instead of a journey to the world's highest mountain, he goes on a journey inside himself, far more important than what he came for.

    ReplyDelete