This article is based on “Unhardened Hearts” by Kate Hutton
I was interested in this essay/podcast because Kate Hutton was talking about a book that almost every person in high school has read; To Kill a Mockingbird. She discussed how her class eventually stumbles on the topic of racism and prejudice, but in one class, within the first few minutes after introducing this book, students were already talking about the unjust killings of African-Americans by White male police officers. Students who barely spoke during this English class, suddenly spoke with passion. The reason Kate Hutton named this essay “Unhardened Hearts” is because she sees that young people have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and are not burdened with the hard truths of this world. The message that needs to be heard is that we let society corrupt our wholesome once youthful selves. The up and coming generation can alter the future, if we continue to have unhardened hearts.
Death of an Innocent by John Krakauer is about Chris McCandless, a young man who wanted to live off the land for a few months in an Alaskan park in late April 1992. He survived for almost 16 weeks, and if not for a few unfortunate mistakes, he would have walked out of Denali National Park alive.
This article caught my attention because of my personal interest in the outdoors and nature. Throughout Chris’s journey, he was reluctant to kill large animals and wouldn’t start a fire in the forest, even to save his own life. The author told this story with minimal judgement, and simply re-told what had happened. I found this refreshing because articles like this often have criticism on the events that have occurred. Jon Krakauer painted a picture of life in the wild, and how a few mistakes in the wild can ruin your chance of survival. As readers, we gain insight into the reasons behind McCandless’s journey; Chris strongly believed that doing well at anything was all mental, by pushing past the wall of evil, you could do anything. This concept sounds positive in theory; however, when out into reality, this can lead to disaster. The message that is conveyed suggests that we are too reliant on our material things.