What does Brian mean when he says "Discoveries happened because they needed to happen"?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brian's sentiment helps to carve out the basic elements of his mental toughness that is characteristic of his survival narrative.  Brian's suggestion is that the discoveries that advanced civilization only took place because there was a need that prompted their existence.  Brian's point is that the context of the individual determines the discoveries they make.  What is discovered is only established because there is an overwhelming need for it to happen.  In this case, Brian is making the argument that his condition can help to provide the context that enables discoveries to happen which will invariably help him.  For Brian, the necessity of all invention and discovery is the condition in which the individual finds themselves.  I think that Brian's intent is to help crystallize his own experience.  Brian wishes to find a positive element in the condition that envelops him.  This comes out in the idea that the temporal condition that faces individuals provides a particular "need" in which discoveries and advancements can be evident.  In Brian's case, his need to survive in the wilderness can serve to help or assist in the hope of living against all odds.