After reading “Tenth of December” by George Saunders, I immediately felt that this is a story that displays how the actions of two different people can lead to a connection. Two completely different people, a child and a grown man, end up to be each others saviors, after both of them danced with death, just barely getting by. It also shows how one must think there decisions through carefully before they go through with them, and think about the impact they make on others. This is especially true of Robin and Don.
There was two very opposing reasons for the two being out in the woods. And if they had not both been out there, the both of them would have died slowly and painfully. If Robin had not been out in the woods fighting the nethers, then Don would not have been saved from taking his own life. The same is true for Robin. He would have been dead instantly, after falling into a river through the ice. There would have been no question.
The two of them both stand in the very presence on death’s knife, yet they escape it by the grace of God. This story really builds on a very good topic: that things happen to us for a reason and sometimes, even in the most tragic of circumstances, the most amazing things can happen. A boy is saved from death by hypothermia by Don. Don was saved from taking his own life by a little boy. And the most amazing thing is, Robin sought out for a heroic adventure and Don wanted to be selfless. In saving each others lives, these qualities were made present.
The circumstances that lead to this outcome were not the wisest decisions. I am not an advocate for children walking on water or the taking of one’s lives, yet they were both saved by the others bout with death. The connections that were made in this story can be representative of how we are all in each others lives for a reason and how every action has an equal or opposite reaction. And as tragic as Saunders made this story out to be, the elements that made it that way led to its calm resolution. Yes, Don will still die of his disease, and Robin may not learn from the experience he contended with, these things remain uncertain. But what is certain is that both of them were there for each other, and had it not happened that way, then the story would not have played out as it so wonderfully did. I really liked this story.