Mark Watney: An Idol | Teen Ink

Mark Watney: An Idol

April 13, 2018
By spacemanspifitty BRONZE, Grove, New Jersey
spacemanspifitty BRONZE, Grove, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

From going to “I’m pretty much f-----. That’s my considered opinion. F-----.” (Weir 1) to being a national hero who rode an explosion home, Mark Watney is a clear example of a role model and a hero in my eyes. Mark Watney is a fictional character from the New York Times Bestseller, The Martian who is stranded on Mars after a windstorm leads his crewmates to believe he was killed. The Martian documents his journey to survive through the harsh terrain of Mars. Mark Watney has clear traits which make him my role model including his ability to survive anything that gets in his way, his quick thinking/smarts and his mental strength using humor.

Mark Watney’s stubbornness to survive is one of the reasons he is my hero. Throughout the brutal Martian environment, Watney perseveres. For example, when encountering a rapid depressurization of the habitation module, Mark preserved and made out of the situation with an experience he will never forget. The depressurization sent an airlock (with Watney inside) 50 meters from the HAB (habitation module) and caused a crack to spread in Mark’s helmet. Calculating the amount of time he had to survive, Mark had to utilize his ingenuity to withstand his predicament and get into the rover. Although the chances of this happening to me are slim, I still look up to his principles of not giving up and trying to get through each day, one step at a time. Another example of Mark’s cunning ability to survive is demonstrated in the means he uses to utilize Pathfinder (a Mars rover which was launched in 1996) to communicate with NASA. It was necessary for Watney to get to the spacecraft for him to communicate to Earth for the communications array was knocked out during the storm. Mark connected the rover to Pathfinder’s communications array efficiently, which prevented his inevitable demise. Mark’s persistence to survive and ingenuity is a clear reason for why I idolize him.

Quick thinking and general smarts are integral in one of the reasons why Mark is my hero.. Mark Watney is an accomplished botanist/engineer and welds the two fields together, sometimes literally. A clear example of this is his integration of the two fields in creating a potato farm. Obviously to farm potatoes, one needs an ample amount of water. Mark, with no difficulty, is able to accomplish this task. To solve this essential problem, Watney utilizes his surroundings in a way that can only be described as genius. In this situation, he ended up? burning rocket fuel to isolate the hydrogen and oxygen in a controlled environment. He employs his knowledge in both fields to create an inventive solution to the problem. Although I personally do not want to be a botanist such as Watney, I look up to and strive to accomplish the principles behind his work.

Another aspect of Watney’s character is his ability to use humor to get through a tough situation. While stranded on an unforgiving planet, Mark has to endure mentally tough challenges.. Being literally the loneliest man in the solar system, Mark has to be able to cope with this fact. He uses humor to make the best of any situation even when the situation is dire. Although at times it can be inappropriate, his sense of humor never fails to entertain me and bring a smile to my face. In a more realistic aspect, humor is common coping mechanism when facing a tough situation such as the one that Watney was facing. A clear example of him using humor to go through a difficult dilemma occurs whilst he is off on a fifty-day drive to the Schiaparelli Crater. Whilst doing one of the most complicated tasks of his mission, he started joking aloud how he is a real space pirate based on international law. The ability to make the best of a bad situation while still remaining serious is one of the great admariations I have of Mark Watney.

Mark Watney; a hero in anyone’s eyes is a serious hero whom of which I look up to greatly. A combination of an ability to survive, smarts, quick thinking, and humor are just a few reasons for why I idolize Watney. His ability to overcome even the toughest conditions is an exceptional quality which I admire greatly. With his advanced intelligence, Watney is able to astutely asses any situation and is able to survive it. Another great quality is his humor which allows him to be the idol of which I look up to. Mark, although fictional, represents the ideals which I hope to replicate in my future career. Watney continues to be someone whom I look up to and strive to be.



Works Cited
Weir, Andy. The Martian. Crown Publishing, 2011.

The author's comments:

I just love Mark Watney

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