Walk Across America Response Paper In Walk Across America, Peter Jenkins takes a cross country walk to rediscover himself and the nation. In his journeys, he crosses through various states and meets many different kinds of people. From New York to New Orleans, Peter treks around this great country of ours and falls back in love with the place that he has called home for his entire life. After losing faith in the hypocrisy of America and how we are perceived around the world, Pete wants to find out what everyone thinks is so great about the country. He and his dog Cooper are set to give the country one last chance before they pack up their worldly goods and change scenery for good.
After being introduced to the humble livings of a moon shiner in the Tennessee mountains, living with an African American family and finally settling down in a dorm room in New Orleans, Peter finds what he is looking for, but continues his journey onward (though not in this book).
The book to me is all about the relationships that he forms and the friends that he makes along the way. The relationship shared between this man and his dog is one of intense love and mutual admiration. Cooper and Peter are a match made in heaven. The Alaskan malamute is what he calls his “forever friend.” On many different occasions, Coop saves his life. From a run in with a pack of wild dogs to the inspiration that he provided to Peter on a daily basis, Coop keeps Peter going and keeps him safe.
Country Salutes Red, White, and Blue Whether the song is one of war-time, peace, or just plain admiration and love for America, country music has always set an ideology of patriotism. One reason country music does this is because it represents a class of America that has historically set a precedent of pride in America. This would be the working class, also known as the backbone of America. These ...
When Cooper dies at a commune in Tennessee known as “The Farm”, Peter’s heart is broken and he is not sure if he can continue on with his expedition. Peter however treks on, but this is not the only lifelong friend that Peter has on this journey. Pete stops in Smokey Hollow, North Carolina and ends up living with a family of Southern black people that takes him in. Mary Elizabeth and her three sons, Zack, Bruce and Eric make him a member of the family.
The five of them lived in a small trailer in Smokey Hollow which was probably better suited for two occupants than five. Mary Elizabeth is a big, strong black woman who seems to be in complete control in every situation she is put in. Though different adverse circumstances, the family gets closer and closer. The tornado, the moonshine agents and the fact that a white man is living with a family of blacks in the mid seventies are all the positions that this makeshift family is faced with.
Before stopping in Smokey Hollow, Pete takes residence with a mountain man named Homer. Homer’s life is one of complete simplicity. He lives in a shack on the side of his mountain and only goes down the mountain once a month to gather supplies. At his age, Homer should have been a feeble man, but was quite the contrary. Pete learned many different life lessons on the side of that Tennessee Mountain thanks to the teachings of his new mentor named Homer. He learned that just because someone does not have a lot of common worldly goods, they can still achieve pure happiness in the life that they live.
Another bond formed in the book is one more of courtship than of friendship. Barbara is a woman that Peter meets while living in the dorms of a convent in New Orleans. He gets the room from a friend who talks the school into letting him rent the room while he writes his article for National Geographic. He is instantly smitten by the young woman and thinks that he has found the woman with whom he could spend the rest of his life. The two go on a couple dates before things get really serious. Barbara is worried that perhaps the relationship is a deep one that will end up in heartbreak for both once Peter starts back out on his journey.
Write what you know. These are words that Willa Cather lived by. In the novel, The Professor's House, Cather's life is directly parallel to the life of the main character, Professor Godfrey St. Peter. Through St. Peter, the reader is able to observe the struggles as well as triumphs that occurred at that point in Willa Cather's life. Her struggle with materialism versus idealism, discovery of ...
Pete convinces her to give him once last chance and she agrees on the grounds that they go to church to see if God gives them a sign that they were meant to be together. To the surprise of both of them, the sign comes and she agrees to finish his walk with him Perhaps the most important bond that Peter forms in this book is the one he forms with the country in which he lives. After finding generosity from most of the people he comes across, he realizes what makes this country great; the people. He is constantly done favors and good deeds by Samaritans all over the nation. The most surprising kindness he finds is from the Governor of Alabama, George Wallace.
He has heard that he is a racist, redneck who rules with an iron fist and thinks of his state of more of an independent nation than a state in the union. After meeting him, he gravely changes his opinion. Governor Wallace is a very nice man who even offers him a job speaking at various schools across the state during his journey. Though Peter declines, he is still very honored by the offer. The message I received from this retelling is one of friendship, love and understanding. After developing many lasting and fulfilling friendships, Peter finds faith in a country for which he had previously lost respect.
From his mountain man friend to his black family, he sees that just because people live differently all over the country, they can still adhere to one common character trait; genuine care and friendship.