By: Gary Paulsen


Gary is brought to life in many ways through characterization. Here are two of the examples.

1. Gary was being sleep deprived, because he constantly had to check on his dogs to make sure they were getting enough sleep, make sure they didn't have frostbite, and to put on different booties for the dogs if needed. This shows people that Gary is a caring and forgiving person. In the race Gary gets bitten several times by his own dogs, and still makes sure the dogs are in good shape.

2. When Gary approached the next checkpoint he told the checker that the next musher coming in murdered his own dog. The man was disqualified from the race and cant run dogs or have dogs ever again. This shows us that Gary is honest and the musher was charged for murder. Killing a dog in the race is considered murder by law.


The theme of this story is hard work and determination pays off. Gary and the dogs are all training for months for this insane race. They go through rough times in the race always seem to be ok. They go through the race, but often come across problems like when they are about to finish the race and his lead dog starts to fall through the ice.

Figurative language

1. 15 dogs running in the race is like a disaster waiting to happen. I could feel the insanity in my team and knew that I couldn't possibly run with 15 dogs.

2. I decided to run them to tire them out before the race and when I tried to stop them it was like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.