Analyze the rhetorical and/or literary devices Jon Krakauer uses in chapter 1 of Into Thin Air. Explain how Krakauer uses these devices to support or enhance his purpose for writing.

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One rhetorical device Jon Krakauer uses is enumeratio, which is the listing of details. He writes,

Later—after six bodies had been located, after a search for two others had been abandoned, after surgeons had amputated the gangrenous right hand of my teammate Beck Weathers—people would ask why, if the weather had begun to deteriorate, had climbers on the upper mountain not heeded the signs?

Krakauer lists these details because it helps make his point about how dangerous the events on Mount Everest were by the end. If he had simply said, "later, people would ask why," then it would not have been as effective or chilling a sentence. The additional detail also helps paint a better word picture for the reader about what frame of mind he was in by that time.

Krakauer uses another literary device, foreshadowing, to warn his readers that his will not be a happy and positive narrative about climbing the world's tallest mountain. He says,

Four hundred vertical feet above, where the summit was still washed in bright sunlight under an immaculate cobalt sky, my compadres dallied to memorialize their arrival at the apex of the planet, unfurling flags and snapping photos, using up precious ticks of the clock. None of them imagined that a horrible ordeal was drawing nigh. Nobody suspected that by the end of that long day, every minute would matter.

This makes the reader nervous. They see that something bad is coming and aren't sure yet what it will be. Despite the negative details that Krakauer offers in the chapter—about his climbing partner's amputated hand, for example—this is a vision of success, tinged with the darkness of things to come, that Krakauer uses to foreshadow the events of the rest of the book.

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