A Mountain Journey Questions

A Mountain Journey questions: 

  1. What was Dave Conroy doing out in the wilderness?  

Dave Conroy is a man who traps and he was bringing fifty pounds of fur for the market, which took him six weeks. In a way, it seems like Dave Conroy is out in the wilderness for another reason. He seems like he wants to prove to himself that he can overcome nature. I think this because when he could’ve stopped and made a fire to warm himself up and spend the night, but instead, Dave Conroy decides to miss that opportunity and hike another 3 miles until he arrives at the cabin. He also said that mountain traveling was not dangerous if a man knew how to take care of it. 

2. At what point does the reader know the protagonist is in serious trouble and not likely to make it to MacMoran’s cabin? 

The story informs the reader that the protagonist (Dave Conroy) isn’t going to be able to make it to MacMoran’s cabin when Dave Conroy got so cold that he thought that snow was warm when he sat down. Also, in the story, it tells us that he heard an odd noise, such as horse bells when there weren’t any horses around, especially in the wintertime. Adding on, near the end of the story, it said that he was under the snow like a blanket, which would help us figure out that he is covered in snow. Dave Conroy was also kept hallucinating. He imagined that MacDonald was giving him a frowning face and said something that he couldn’t hear. He thought that if he waited there, lying down in the snow, someone will come pick him up to get him to shelter. He seems as if he fell asleep in the snow covering his whole entire body and passed away. 

3. What three critical mistakes did Conroy make? What are some of the things he could have done to prevent himself from freezing?  

One of the critical mistakes that Dave Conroy had made was going trapping all by himself for six weeks. It would’ve been so much easier for Dave Conroy to survive six weeks trapping in the middle of February with a partner, since having another person by your side can help you decide if you should go another mile or rest (for example). Another mistake that Conroy had made is that he didn’t stop to make a fire, dry off, and warm himself up. Conroy kept on going because he was less than three miles away from the cabin and he didn’t want his desire for warmth to stop him. I also noticed that he made a mistake of sitting in the snow to take a rest. If he hadn’t lied down on the snow, he wouldn’t have become covered in snow and ultimately ended his life.  

4. Determine the elements of plot in this story: exposition, complicating incident, 3 crises, climax, and the denouement. 

The exposition of this story is that a guy named Dave Conroy, is on his way to MacMoran’s cabin and the market because he is delivering fifty pounds of fur to the market and it takes about six weeks for him to get there by trapping. He is outside in the cold wilderness and he seems to want to prove to himself that he is capable of handling the wilderness and we get to see if he is capable of making good decisions throughout the adventure.  

The complicating incident of this story would be when Dave Conroy did not take a break underneath the tree when his whole body was extremely cold. Instead, Dave Conroy decided to go another three miles until he reached his destination (MacMoran’s Cabin). If he had stopped and warmed himself up, he wouldn’t have been so tired and froze to death. 

The first crisis would be the moment when Dave Conroy had fell into an airhole of a river and was in great need of heat/fire so he could warm himself up, but he decided to continue with his journey, for he had less than three miles left until the cabin. The second crisis would be when he started to hallucinate, such as when Dave Conroy heard horse bells when there were no horses nearby(etc.) and I suppose that that has happened due to how cold he was. The last crisis is when Dave Conroy had needed fire because he was extremely cold, he couldn’t light his lighter because of how cold he was. I consider this situation as a crisis because if he was able to make a fire and warmed himself up, he wouldn’t have ended his life underneath the blanket of snow. 

 The climax of this story would be when Dave Conroy arrives at his cabin, but he realizes that it’s all burnt down, so he decides to hike to another 10 miles to get to the other cabin to spend the night. While he was on the way, he got tired and lied down to take a rest then he fell asleep, then died from the low temperature. 

Finally, the denouement of this story would be that Dave Conroy passes away underneath the cover of snow because he made the decision of continuing this route instead of warming up and spending the night under the tree. 

5. Describe the setting – how does the setting affect the plot and the theme of the story? What is the theme – write a theme statement for this story. 

The physical setting of this story is in Canada, western B.C/Alberta during the wintertime in mid-February. Dave Conroy is on the mountains near Terrace Creek, etc. The setting affects the plot by showing us what Dave Conroy does with his pride and decisions in the wilderness. The setting also affects the theme, which I think is to always listen to your guts, by showing us what decision Dave Conroy will make. Will he listen to his guts and warm up his body or will he keep going because there’s only few miles left? 

6. Find one example of symbolic setting (concrete place that represents something abstract) and explain its meaning. 

One example of a symbolic setting are the horse bells that Dav Conroy “heard” when he was laying down in the snow. I suppose that this indicates that the year of when this story is taking place is sometime between the 1890’s and the 1910’s. I think that because if he “heard” horse bells, that means that using horses as transportation was common at that time and people commonly used them in-between the 1890’s and the 1910’s 

7. Quote four images from the story that make effective comparisons (figurative language: simile, metaphor, and personification) 

Simile: “Stiff branch-less trees, like a parade of skeletons climbing up the mountainside” (p.95). 

Simile: “They were like two sticks of wood on the ends of his arms.” (pg.96)

Metaphor: “The cold was an old man’s finger’s feeling craftily through his clothes” (p.91) 

Personification: “His shadow became a burden, something that he would pull beside him in the snow.” (pg.97)

 Vocabulary Words:

  1. eternal p.92 

Everlasting; doesn’t have end or beginning 

  1. immobility p.93 

Something that is motionless 

  1. opaque p.93 

Something that is not able to be seen through  

  1. reverberation p.93 

 echoing noises/sounds 

  1. momentum p.93

The amount you move  

  1. cadaverous p.94 

Corpse that looks pale, thin, or boney 

  1. congregated p.95 

gather into a crowd or mass 

  1. inundation p.95 


  1. beggared p.95 

One who begs habitually or for a living 

  1. filched. P.96

To steal something in a casual way  

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