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Walk Across America Response Paper

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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. 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



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