During the course of this semester, we talked a lot about the term Adulting and how it’s all about becoming one’s independent self and doing things on your own for the first time. While it may not be the same circumstances as moving out or going to college, Mark Watney definitely finds himself having to become independent of literally everyone and do dozens of things for the first time, and not just the first time for him, but the first time for anyone in history.
During his journey for survival in the film The Martian, Mark Watney exemplifies the characteristics of resilience, independence, and ingenuity. When confronted with a lack of food and no grocery store for a few million miles, Watney does not lay down and starve to death; instead, he buckles down and makes a plan. He grows food where no one has grown food before. When left with no way to communicate to the outside world, Watney does not cower in relative safety of the H.A.B., he ventures out on his own to find some long-lost tech that could save his life. Finally, when Watney’s life literally explodes in front of him, he does not break down and give up. Yes, he does burst out in anger and despair, which is more that understandable given the circumstances, but he does not give up. I know situations like these are highly unlikely to happen here on earth, but the message is universal: believe in yourself and do not give up.
“At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you… everything’s going to go south and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem… and you solve the next one… and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home. All right, questions?” (Mark Watney, The Martian).
Damon, Matt, actor. The Martain. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2015