Able to shine immense light onto the darkest of caves, the flashlight is a beautiful tool that is used by many to literally, light up the world. With its unique shape, it can blind a human being with its intense illumination. Although turned on and off by a switch, the flashlight’s main source of power is its batteries. The switch chooses when the flashlight would turn on and off, but the batteries decide its usefulness. Without it, the flashlight wouldn’t even be able to function properly, the once was flashing light bulb would just be a gloomy orb that has no power over anything. The brain is its switch, but the heart is its batteries. The batteries give the flashlight the power and the energy to function; it is the soul of the object. Some flashlights may be broken or damaged and may not function properly, that is why these Just like these malfunctioning flashlights, without motivation and self-belief, human beings will not be able to function properly. As self-doubt increases and self esteem decreases, we are more likely to give up. We won’t be able to “light up” because we wont have any batteries. McDougall loses self-esteem and motivation as he gets injured from excessive running.
In the beginning of Chapter 27, McDougall complains about not being able to even run the race with the Tarahumara. After being consistently injured, McDougall feels that the whole situation is hopeless and that there is no point in pursuing anymore. He loses motivation and therefore sees no reason to continue, that’s why he states phrases like “none of them really seems to work” to show hopelessness in the story. “So what was I missing? I was in worse shape now than when I’d started; not only couldn’t I race with the Tarahumara, I doubted my PF-inflamed feet could even get me to the starting line”. In this excerpt, McDougall directly states that he doubts his feet. He portrays a sense of neglect by using proper diction to illustrate different points. Without the driving force, people will not feel obligated to continue. One really good technique that McDougall used in the sentence was the “not only… but also…” phrase. The phrase is used to give a basis to a situation, and then extending it even further. This sense of doubt is what gives the reader the “false hope” impression. It may seem that McDougall feels as if his feet cannot take it anymore, and wants to take out the batteries, but he doesn’t. He persists, which is the point that he tries to make throughout the whole book. Even though there are ups and downs during the journey, the end result depends on how hard you try. He literally got back up onto his two feet and started retraining them so that he will be able to run with the Tarahumara. By showing a sense of doubt, it gives the reader false hope, but then being able to rise up to the occasion to fulfill one’s dream is what allows the reader to understand the true meaning of the book, persistence.