47 pages 1 hour read

Piers Paul Read


Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1974

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The Cost of Survival

After the plane crash, those who survive face a series of difficult decisions. They must consider the cost of survival. The price they must pay to live through the ordeal is too high for many. The cost of survival becomes a key theme as the characters encounter an ever escalating situation against which they must measure themselves. The first test is their determination. The situation on the mountainside, surrounded by dead bodies, seems almost hopeless. The survivors lost loved ones and face the prospect of almost certain death. They must decide whether they want to try to stay alive or simply give up. The optimists in the group believe that they will be saved while many others cannot combat their own pessimism. The first cost of survival is simply having the determination required to stay alive. For some people, this is too much to ask at such a traumatic moment.

The situation becomes so dangerous that the survivors must consider breaking one of the most serious social taboos: They must eat the flesh of the dead bodies to survive. Cannibalism is considered immoral in most cultures around the world. To break this social taboo is to cross over a moral boundary that many people are not willing to traverse.