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This is perhaps one of the few authentic experiences that Cole has ever had. There were no angles to be played and no head games to be won. Cole's choices to live or die were real and his own. There was nobody to blame but himself. Nature went on around him ambivalent to his survival or his death. Cole was experiencing life in its truest form.
Yo baljot, I'm older than I care to remember. Cole figures out that the little head games he played in his old life only hurt himself. Alone on the island, nature didn't care if he felt abused or scared or hard done by. Basically Cole had to "man up" and make some real choices.