Survival n 1: a state of surviving; remaining alive [syn: endurance] 2: a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment [syn: survival of the fittest, natural selection, selection] (survival in WordNet ® 1.6) http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=Survival The theme that will be explored in this essay will be survival when times get tough, physically, mentally. The two books that will be involved in the discussion will be Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. In both cases the leading characters show signs of breaking down and quitting because of physical, but also their mental stress. Robinson Crusoe, and Sahara relate in many ways, as do the main characters, and will be two good books to compare the survival of both Dirk Pitt and Robinson Crusoe. The three criteria that will be talked about in this essay will be the survival physically. Did both characters have hard times to pull out of ? . The next type of survival is mental survival, it comes a close second to physical survival and both characters show signs also of this type. With mental survival the physical component must first be stable and accomplished, that is when you can then work your mind into better thoughts and ideas. The third criteri! a that will be looked at is, how the characters were changed at the end of the book looking at it through post-traumatic stress disorder. Both characters show signs of physical survival and it is believed that physical is the most important type of survival because you must first be physically healthy and strong before you can even walk or talk or think. Mental survival is strongly needed and is required in tough times Each type of survival is different in it's own way, but first physical stability must be achieved to be able to survive the elements and their challenges to then master the other type of survival such as mental survival. In Robinson Crusoe the rain is pouring down and the wind is blowing strongly. Robinson says that this is the strongest, fiercest storm that has ever blown in on him. He is deathly ill and writes this in his diary. The ague again so violent that I lay abed all day and neither ate nor drank. I was ready to perish for thirst but so weak I had not strength to stand up or to get myself any water to drink. (Defoe 96) Dirk Pitt also had some rough times in the book Sahara. Crawling in the desert, he has had nothing to drink or eat days, or for days to come. This is what he remembers from that dreary day on dusty desert floor. Pitt found it odd that he couldn't remember when he last spit. Though he sucked on small pebbles to relieve the relentless thirst, he could not even recall when he felt saliva his mouth. His tongue had swelled like a dry sponge and felt as if it was dusted with alum, and yet he found he could still swallow. (Cussler 373) Both characters show that they can overcome the important battle for survival, and both characters are devoted to their lives and strive to live. They both accept the challenges of the weather, and what the landscape puts forth. In Dirk's case it is the overheated scorched Sahara desert that is ringing his bell, and in Robinson's case it would be the hurricane that is blowing in off the water, making him cold, sick and also making him hallucinate from his state of illness. The two men may not be in very good shape but they pull out of their sick and desperate states. Both men later in the chapter or book get well, and overcome their sickness and unwell being. Therefore, in both cases the men need to be in good physical shape to live with their difficulties of their surroundings. The next topic that will be compared and discussed will be the survival that must go on to survive mentally in the times of dismay and trouble. It is believed that this type of survival is second to none when it comes to troubled times. To be stable mentally means first you must have to stable physically. To survive the elements and the troubled times that both characters show in the books Robinson Crusoe and Sahara, the characters had to be a bit adventurous, and had to look deeply for what was there but not able to be seen with the naked eye. In Robinson Crusoe's case he needed to go out and search for food to eat and preserve, and animals to eat and to train as well. I found different fruits, and particularly I found melons upon the ground in great abundance, and grapes upon the trees; the vines had spread indeed over the trees and the clusters of grapes were just now in their prime, very ripe and rich. This was a surprising discovery, and I was exceeding glad of them. (Defoe 109) Robinson Crusoe ventures out on his island and makes a discovery of fruits of many kinds. This relates to the topic of mental stability because he is needing to be adventurous, though Robinson is deathly afraid of finding a pack of cannibals that will catch him and eat him alive, he overcomes his cowardly feelings, brings up his bravery and ventures out around his island, only to make that very important discovery. Dirk Pitt also shows signs of being adventurous and willing to take risks to save himself and continue living. Dirk is dying in the desert when he crawls upon an airplane wreck, he then decides to build a land yacht out of the left over plane. His partner Giordino suggests that it will take days to preform the task that Dirk is suggesting, but Dirk sets him straight by telling him exactly what will have to happen for them to get the land yacht to sail. "We can use the center section if the fuselage between the cockpit and the tail for a hull. Using struts and spars, we can fabricate extended runners. With the two landing gear wheels and a small tail wheel, we can work out a tricycle gear system. And we have more than enough control cable for rigging and a tiller setup."(Cussler 377) Pitt's drive to get out of the desert and to survive is shown by his great leadership and the will to press on and live out the rest of his life to the fullest. By making this land yacht they set up a real adventure for themselves and in fact get themselves out of trouble. His mental stability is shown by his leadership, and the fact that he thinks that everything will go well and as planned. Here is a quote from Robinson Crusoe that relate to the topic of mental stability. Robinson Crusoe takes to the bible when he is in dire trouble of mental stress and breakdown. "I kept this day as a solemn fast, setting it apart to religious exercise, prostrating myself on the ground with the most serious humiliation, confessing my sins to god, acknowledging His righteous judgments upon me, and praying to him to have mercy on me, though Jesus Christ." (Defoe 114) Robinson devotes a whole day to confession and prayer for God's forgiveness and His help for Crusoe's case. On several other occasions he believes that this works. One night Robinson dreams that savages will come to shore and will deliver a companion for him to use and talk to and help him with various tasks. This dream comes true one day, Robinson gets down on his knees and prays for thankfulness. Unfortunately Clive Cussler does not show many mental thoughts for god or for being mentally strong in this way. Cussler writes more about physical fitness and stability and does not show many signs of mental weakness. This is probably because his leading character Dirk Pitt is always the hero and hero's are supposed to be strong in al ways on all basis. This brings me to my third and final thought, Post traumatic stress disorder. Encyclopedia.com defines post traumatic stress disorder as, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental disorder that follows an occurrence of extreme psychological stress, such as that encountered in war or resulting from violence, childhood abuse, or serious accident. Symptoms include emotional numbness, nightmares or flashbacks, insomnia, heightened sensitivity to sudden noises, and outbursts of violent behavior. http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/10438.html Most people suffer from post traumatic stress disorder because they have been exposed to highly stressful and frightening situations and experiences. Post traumatic stress disorder occurs from such things as shootings at high schools. If a person were involved and saw his or her friends being shot and killed, that would and could scar you for life and could cause post traumatic stress disorder. Traumatic experiences shake the foundations of our beliefs about safety, and shatter our assumptions of trust. Because they are so far outside what we would expect, these events provoke reactions that feel strange and "crazy". Perhaps the most helpful thing I can say here is that even though these reactions are unusual and disturbing, they are typical and expectable. By and large, these are normal responses to abnormal events. (Internet) This type of syndrome fits the main characters because they were exposed to highly stressful experiences and could have easily been affected by these experiences. An example is when Robinson Crusoe found all kinds of human bones on the shore and he did not want to ever leave the place he called home again, though he overcame his fear and worked through the times as if he hadn't seen anything. It could be said that Robinson Crusoe did not suffer any post traumatic stress disorder because he did not break down or show any signs of what the definition states above. Dirk Pitt was even more exposed to such problems as being in a gold mine, being worked like a slave, being whipped and beaten to work harder, and many other situations like that. Clive Cussler writes Dirk Pitt to be the hero so he really has to be strong and Pitt did not ever show signs of having such a disorder in the end of the novel. The theme that was explored in this essay was survival when times get tough, physically, and mentally. In Clive Cussler's Sahara and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. In both books the leading characters show signs of breaking down and quitting because of physical, but also because of their mental stress. Both books Robinson Crusoe, and Sahara relate in many ways, as do the main characters, and were two good books to compare the survival of both Dirk Pitt and Robinson Crusoe. The three criteria that were talked about in this essay was the survival physically, did both characters have hard times to pull out of ? Both characters show signs of physical survival. Physical is the most important type of survival because you must first be healthy and well before you can even walk or talk or think. The next type of survival is mental survival, it comes a close second to physical survival and both characters show signs also of this type. Mental survival is strongly needed and is r! equired in tough times. With mental survival once you have your body stable you can then work your mind into better thoughts and ideas. The third criteria that will be looked at is, how the characters were changed at the end of the book looking at it through post-traumatic stress disorder. Both characters seemed to show little or no signs of post traumatic stress disorder. The characters pulled out of their hard times very well and survived their hardships. Because of the information and the facts above it could be said that both Robinson Crusoe and Dirk Pitt survived both physical, mental survival but also didn't show signs of post traumatic stress disorder. It could be expected that if either of these characters were in such a situation of that at Columbine high that they would pull though without a scratch.