Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea Themes

Steven Callahan
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Survival

The sheer hostility of the environment dominates Callahan's every waking moment, providing him with an endless list of chores. The raft must be continually inflated. Water must be harvested from the solar stills. Fish must be harpooned, cleaned and hung out to dry. Should anything fail, break, or become lost, Callahan must be instantly prepared to improvise. When he sleeps, it is the sleep of exhaustion. Callahan's very existence is focused solely on maintaining his own existence.

Callahan's "survival voyage" is defined by a series of difficult decisions, each with its own cost and risk. To fish, Callahan must burn precious calories and risk damaging his raft. To sleep, he risks waking to a sinking raft. Drinking today means possibly not drinking tomorrow. As Callahan's options dwindle, his best decisions are those that stave off death for another day. There is a sense that, until he is rescued...

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This section contains 710 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea Study Guide
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