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Rhetoric Analysis of Wild of Cheryl Strayed

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Erica Bickham

on 25 February 2015

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Transcript of Rhetoric Analysis of Wild of Cheryl Strayed

Rhetoric Analysis of
of Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed experienced more than she expected when she traveled through the vast PCT. Not only did she lose the person she was, but she encountered a new version of her self. The encounters she had changed her completely pushing her forward more to the person who became who they wanted to be.
Three months. Three months of traveling. Three months of experiencing the reality of nature. Three months of working to let go. Three months until she began her new life. Cheryl Strayed's journey along the Pacific Coast Trail was her segaway from leaving her former life to become the person she wanted to be. Through her long hike she encountered the parts of herself that she feared and worked through them. But the trail helped her to cope but could not let her forget her past.
As she experiences the lost of her mother Cheryl Strayed felt that she was not in the emotional state that she felt inclined to be. Often she felt out of place, and held the lingering feeling that," I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free” (Strayed 21). This use of juxtaposition exemplifies the kind of person she was before her mother died, a person who looked to the affections such as her mother and husband. This quote also begins to demonstrate how Strayed desired to become someone else, to do something different but needed a push in order to reach her destiny.
As her trip began Strayed kept an overloaded bag full of unnecessary items. With advice from other hikers she began to unload her pack, but after taking her ice pick too early she faced the hardest part of her journey through the snow (Strayed 215). This symbolizes her fears of letting go of the past in hopes that she will need this experience in the future. This also shows the strength she instills inside of her that she is capable to move forward into to finish her journey.
Cheryl Strayed experienced tragedies through her young life with growing up without a father, and raising her brother. Overall the worst feeling she felt was, "the death of my mother was the thing that made me believe the most deeply in my safety: nothing bad could happen to me, I thought. The worst thing already had” (Strayed 36). This exemplifies the worst part of her life was losing the support system of her mother and husband. This became the major turning point in her life as she began to look forward.
In comparison to the feeling she experienced after her mother's death as she reflects upon herself," I only felt that in spite of all the things I'd done wrong, in getting myself here, I'd done right”(Strayed 267). This exemplifies that she has made the right decision in following her gut. That she encounters the worst parts of herself when she is dependent on those who surrond her. But as she encounters the time by herself she feels her happiest.
For most of hike though the troublesome PCT she walks alone, experiencing the trail only from her perspective. But the people she encountered really made the difference in her journey and life. Greg another solo hiker taught her how she should pace herself in her walking (Strayed 102). While the father son duo took a full examine of her pack and took the unnecessary items out of her pack in order to travel more efficiently (Strayed 143). While the encounters were short they changed her mood of regret into one of resilience which helped her to continue through the hike. Also they both taught her principles that will encounter her throughout her journey.
Often Cheryl experienced new people who question why she was hiking alone. The construction workers who took her home and fed her wondered if could handle the hike alone (Strayed 57). Also the many groups questioned her motives the Tom and Hal from New England who met early in her trip as well as the group of friends she bet towards the Oregon-California border congratulated her on going so far by herself (Strayed 83 and 321). All of the encounters changed the mood from her believing in herself to questioning why she would want to finish this journey at all. This symbolizes how outside influneces would often derail Strayed from her goal but on the trail she pushes through to finsih her journey.
As she starts her journey her hiking boots constricts her feet often causing bruises and boils (Strayed 101). But in the middle of her journey she buys new shoes that fit her feet, the path to Oregon becomes easier(241). Her old symbolizes how the events and people from her past and childhood constrict from continue on the path of her life. After she lost the shoes she finally lost her past bondage which changed the mood from longing to drive. Eventually when she puts on her new shoes she is officially putting on her new life which will carry her to the end of her journery.
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