It is very strange what saves a man.

It is very strange what saves a man.

It is very strange what saves a man. In his Pilgrimage on a Steel Ride, Gary Paulsen describes the people who wouldn’t let him give in, from a tough cop who kept him from becoming a juvenile delinquent to the whore who told him not to leave the army, and the things that could save a man’s life, beginning with a motorcycle. At the age of fifty-seven, surviving a heart attack, Paulsen finally acquires his lifelong dream of getting a Harley Davidson. As he tries to unravel what his life means in the light of his current knowledge, Paulsen decides to take a pilgrimage”?from his home in New Mexico to Alaska”?and the ride becomes an element that introduces him to the time and space in his life. The title Pilgrimage on a Steel Ride makes the reader wonder about Paulsen’s purpose of writing his memoir. According to Paulsen, “I am a man, in a time when it has become anachronistic to be masculine. It’s my fifty-seventh birthday and I have heart disease”?I have accomplished more than I ever thought I would”?And yet.” He believes that he is unable to accomplish anything more, due to his age and his physical limitation; he thinks that there is nothing more to be expected out of him. Remembering his past, Paulsen realizes how rough his childhood was and is surprised at how things have turned out in his life; however, within him, there is the urge of self-discovery and this begins his journey of sharing the intellectual and emotional quest for answers. He writes, “You are always alone when you ride”?the enforced solitude”?The bike demands it, demands that you keep your attention on it, and”?your thoughts internal.” Paulsen feels that a pilgrimage fits his purpose: a desire to examine his life, thoroughly this time, and his Harley Davidson supports this. To him, he and the bike are one; to Paulsen, one of the core beauties of riding is the enforced solitude and the way one is able to keep his thoughts internal, just using them…


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