On page 169 of The Same River Twice, it says, "Years ago, I'd left Kentucky and set into motion a pattern of repetitive exile that had ended by dropping me into a rapidly sinking swamp. I had entered the world to become a man and wound up truly caring about very little. Most of my life had been a sequence of halfhearted attempts at self-destruction." These few sentences really reveal the true insight into Chris's realization of what he had done. This entire memoir allows the reader to see all of his adventures while bouncing back and forth between present and past. It seems as though his character in the present is entirely different than the young man he talks about in the stories in past. The man who is traveling the United States seems immature and has no purpose in life, while the man whose wife is pregnant is thoughtful and full of emotion. The man in past seems to have no true feelings, and always seeks to avoid situations, whereas his present self realizes he must face hardships even though he may be scared.
On page 171 it says, "In the sudden rain I realized I was crying, utterly frustrated by my failure to be defeated." This one sentence seemed so bizarre to me, but after thought I realize this may of been what Chris was searching for all along: to be defeated. Throughout all of his adventures he avoided being defeated. It became a game. For example, while working as a waiter, he attempted to get fired, but instead he received more tips until finally he decided to qui- avoiding defeat. Each step of his journey he simply left and escaped before someone could defeat him. Even the hurricane could not get him. Instead of searching for success, I believe it is possible that he was searching for defeat before he finally started to live his life.
The end was so interesting when Chris finally said he was going to write a memoir, which led the reader into figuring out that this whole memoir was explaining why he was writing it.