Purely Alaska Authentic Voices from the Far North

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

The book is largely about life in the rural Alaska, famously referred to as the far north as Alaska lies on the arctic side of the globe (Andrews & Creed 2010). The author is a resident of Alaska for many years and notes that most of the stories contained in the book entail first-hand accounts of people who lived in Alaska for years and got a chance to experience its native life. Alaska, a country in the far north, experiences a life largely different from what most people are used to in the metropolis that they live in. the history of the country dates years back in the 1960s when the federal government passed controversial laws regarding the use of natural resources such as land, water, fish and wild animals (Andrews & Creed 2010). The author narrates how these laws affected both land use, how it influenced development and how ultimately, it led to people living a life of struggle, isolation and painful survival, but surrounded by affluent neighbourhoods. The book largely gives accounts of the experiences of daily life of the Alaskans, in their raw state as part of the writer’s motive was to preserve an account of life in Alaska before internet and technological advancements took the better of Alaskans (Andrews & Creed 2010). In fact, at some point, the author recalls how he campaigned for Alaskans to write raw accounts of their lives, of their daily hunts and struggles and preserve them for reading when life in Alaska improves. The book weaves several themes all relating to the difficulties of life in the far north but which the locals had now embraced.

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One conspicuous theme that runs throughout the book is that of survival which details how far residents needed to travel to access basic amenities and how dangerous their journeys to these destinations were. It also captures the battle that exists between the locals and the government owing to controversial laws that govern the use of resources within the rural Alaska. In every way, the needs of life in Alaska have shaped the way humans there react, thereby making them suitable for life in that environment. Themes in the book The theme of survival is accurately captured in the book at almost every turn of the page. The author notes how there is no store in the town of Alaska and that one has to drive long distances to find a store (Andrews & Creed 2010).

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The journey to the store has many challenges that make it less attractive. For instance we learn that some humans faced dangerous storms that threaten life on their way to the store. The residents have long held to their culture of hunting for food and in fact rejected a proposal by government to modernize their livelihoods. There arose controversy since the US law recognizes cultural and native rights of a people. From the narratives by the author, the residents of Alaska appear to so much value their way of life that it is preserved for generations. One easily notes how the residents are advised to write stories of their native life so that it may pass to future generations who may find the place changed from what it is now. The residents perform rituals that are geared towards preserving their way of life which they say is not in any way a sign of marginalisation as common people would love to look at it.

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Their lack of agitation for technology and convenience speaks of their desire to keep their culture of survival and hunting for food. The author also brings out how the residents fight over the abolishment of subsistence living in rural Alaska. Lifespan development The story of Mr. Been greatly advanced my understanding of lifespan development. Mr. Been capture the various advanced stages of lifespan development theory. The story that showed much resilience was that of going for groceries from the distance stores. The journey had both wild animals and unexpected storms to face in order to be successful. It also was costly as one had to fuel their snowmobile to get to these stores (Andrews & Creed 2010). Nonetheless, the residents drove in pairs to stand by each other in case of adversity, all in focus to het the groceries and other consumables.

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In general, however, the writer appears deliberate to document the life of native Alaskans, their difficulties, isolation from technology, and how it differs with the ordinary life. I find the book enlightening in the sense that I get to learn about the life in the far north. Born in the towns, one may get in to the illusion that life is starry all over and that technology is universal. Through the book, however, I appreciate that a different and challenging life exists and that in similar circumstances, one can still choose to have fun. The read has also exposed me to historical knowledge of resource sharing between the locals and the government which can be applicable in other areas of life in future. Kenmore, WA: Epicenter Press.

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