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One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey Study Guide & Plot Summary

Sam Kieth
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of One Man's Wilderness.
This section contains 432 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey Study Guide

One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey Summary & Study Guide Description

One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Kieth.

Plot Summary

Sam Keith writes "One Man's Wilderness, An Alaskan Odyssey" in 1973, from the daily journals of Richard Proenneke about his Alaskan wilderness cabin building experience that begins in 1967. This book is the account of Sam's respected and dedicated friend, who he meets in 1952, when he lives in Alaska for three years. This 223 page non-fiction quasi-historical book records Dick's actual day-to-day life and events. Sam Keith spends two weeks living with Dick Proenneke in his cabin during the time he writes "One Man's Wilderness." Keith shares Dick's experiences through writing this book. Sam Keith turns daily journals of his friend into a lively study of successful wilderness survival.

Anyone interested in the story of surviving and thriving in the most extreme weather conditions can benefit from Dick's experiences. Although the Alaska wilderness is the setting for this story, its lessons can benefit anyone trying to overcome natural struggles in nature. Dick finds a homesite on which he builds a log cabin out of forest materials with hand tools. He survives fifty-one degrees below zero temperatures and a big brown bear attack. He plants a garden and tries to nurse an abandoned baby caribou back to health. He goes ice fishing through thirty inches of lake ice and snowshoes an air strip for Twin Lakes International Airport. Dick is skilled from his work as carpenter, diesel mechanic, sheep rancher, heavy equipment operator, and commercial fisherman. After six months of being bedridden from illness Dick becomes obsessed by testing and challenging himself. He relocates from Iowa to prove himself in an unspoiled Alaskan wilderness adventure.

"One Man's Wilderness" provides a comprehensive study of the beginning, development, and conclusion of Richard Proenneke's life. Dick's life is portrayed from the 1940s and 1950s through late 60s and early 70s in the wilderness to 1998, when in his eighties, Dick entrusts his homesite to the Park Service. Panorama of his life is presented by Sam Keith with simple grandeur like Alaska's wilderness itself. The book is particularly enjoyable to a reader who likes to see maps and pictures of what the words describe. Chapter Two describes Dick's cabin building and shows full color pictures of the steps he takes during construction. Chapter Six illustrates panoramic full color photographs of the cabin set in the trees against the Alaskan landscape. Detailed photographs of the cabin interior and furnishings illustrate the craft and skillful talent Dick uses to finish his wilderness home. Many photographs show Dick at work sawing and cutting or resting and reflecting. The Twin Lakes outline map puts the overall project and its environs in perspective.

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This section contains 432 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey Study Guide
One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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