A Midwinter Night’s Dream
This chapter covers the July 1911 activities of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in Antarctica. Peace and drama unfold at the winter camp Framheim among the Norwegian men and the Greenland dogs. Hjalmar Johansen attempts to deal with a reluctant patient, a recovered worker, and an independent mother. Roald Amundsen’s favorite female dog cavorts with her courtiers in −55 °C temperature. And some of the older puppies are recruited into the workforce. During this winter month, the dogs continue to work hard, making sledging runs to the first depot and pulling 300 kilos per six dogs in −43 °C weather – in the dark. The dogs come to understand the men’s methods and try to outmaneuver them at times. Amundsen compares and contrasts his use of sled dogs to Robert Falcon Scott’s and Ernest Shackleton’s use of ponies. His duality, as analyzed in this chapter, is crystalized by his show of affection for the dogs and his perfection of whipping instruments and strategy in order to accomplish his goal.
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