Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DELIVERANCE

DELIVERANCE BY JAMES DICKEY
PUBLISHED 1970
"The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits.  In the thundering froth of that river, in its steep, echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare.  And then, in a moment or horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance."

Deliverance makes you think, how would I handle a situation like this? What compromises would I make? Could I be a hero?
Drew, Lewis, Ed and Bobby are just regular guys.  We all know them or have met people like them.  Drew is that guy you met in college briefly and then happen to run into years later to discover he's just the way you thought he would be.  These fellas are your boss, your brother, your husband.

Do you want to commune with nature, but it's somthing you put on the side burner?
I have too much work....
It's too much energy; I would have to get off the couch.....
There are bugs, and bears and Big Foot.....
I don't have the gear....etc etc etc
And these guys are no different, they want to go but they have their doubts and aren't exactly conditioned for the wilderness like their friend survivalist and bow hunter Lewis.
Although ladden with doubts and lots of complaints, they decide to do a river run in the remote mountains of Georgia. In the beginning, things are good. The men are awakened, enlightened, and Ed experiences a self awareness he doesn't feel back in the city working 9-5 at his advertising business. His friend Lewis is an excellent archer and Ed has become proficient himself. He's looking forward to actually making his first kill (little does he know, his first kill will be another human being).  However, suddenly without warning....things take a decidedly nasty turn as Bobby and Ed, in one of the canoes, happen upon two foul and filthy hillbillies (dueling banjos commence) who are in the mood for romance! As one exclaims, "You ain't going no-where!" Triple YIKES!! And, you can feel the creepy crawlies on that banjo string..... twang!!
This is where my mind went nuts, "Ed shouldn't have said they were alone!" "They definately should have not let the other guy go!" "OMG, what would I do if that was me?"  And so on.......
If you haven't read Deliverance it is an emotional ride for sure and can be read in a day. It really made me question what would I be able to do if a situation warranted killing to survive? Would I be able to act? Or would I freeze and blubber like a baby? Most of us haven't found ourselves alone in the woods with randy hillbillies (Thank God!) but have needed deliverance from other scary situations. I wonder if most of it is innate (survival instinct) or training?? Thoughts?

3 comments:

StephanieD said...

This is why I don't go camping! No facilities, mosquitos, nature, uncomfortable, nature, nature, and randy hillbillies! And incidentally, the only reason why I haven't tried out for Survivor (other than the fact that I cannot live without indoor plumbing).

I love that movie poster - "This is the weekend they didn't play golf." Uhh, who thought of that byline? Who do John Voight and Burt Reynolds play? The hapless campers or the hillbillies?

David Wagner said...

I'm still scarred by the film, I have no intention of reading the book! *shudder*

Padfoot said...

I've always wanted to read this! But that one scene sounds like I would be scarred for life haha. But I've also always wanted to play banjo. So I think I'll read it anyway.