Analysis Of Into The Wild, By Jon Krakauer

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Often times a the discovery of family secrets leads a person to question whether everything in their life has been a lie and wonder if they really know who they are and who they want to be in life. Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild attempts to retrace the path taken by Chris McCandless on his fatal journey into Alaska. Krakauer originally wrote an article about McCandless death but little was known about the young man, including his identity. The article generated strong responses from the readers. In the Author’s Note, Krakauer writes, “Some readers admired the boy immensely for his courage and noble ideals; others fulminated that he was a reckless idiot...a wacko, a narcissist who perished out of arrogance and stupidity…” (Krakauer). …show more content…

It is through these memories that we learn about his family and how they shaped who Chris became. Chris was the first child of Billie and Walt McCandless. His father had been married before and had other children, so Chris has an extended family. Chris was independent and curious from a young age, “At the age of two, he got up in the middle of the night, found his way outside without waking his parents, and entered a house down the street to plunder a neighbor’s candy drawer” (106). As a toddler, Chris was demonstrating signs of independence and rejection of societal norms. Although a toddler doesn’t know understand the concept of consequences, the reader gets the sense that Chris had a mission and set out to get that candy.He is similar to maternal grandfather, who was the first one to introduce him to hiking, and it was something he enjoyed doing with his father as well, ”When Chris was eight, Walt took him on his first overnight backpacking trip, a three-day hike in the Shenandoah to climb Old Rag. They made the summit, amd Chris carried his own pack the whole way. Hiking up the mountain became a father-son tradition; they climbed Old Rag almost every year thereafter” (108). Chris wasn’t a novice at hiking and he had the experience needed to make his way through Alaska. It is important to Krakauer to dispel that the assumption that he was a reckless …show more content…

Krakauer felt a connection to McCandless and the more he learned about him, the more he realized their pasts were similar. Krakauer provides his own personal experience with mountain climbing. He also reveals that he too had a strained relationship with his father. Krakauer dreamed of climbing Devil’s Thumb and researched the climb obsessively. His climb did not go as planned and he found himself lost and confused in the snow. It was a dangerous climb, “I put a foot through a snow bridge spanning a slot so deep I couldn’t see the bottom of it….I bent over double with dry heaves, thinking about what it would be like to be lying in a pile at the bottom of the crevasse, waiting for death to come, with nobody aware of how or where I’d met my end” (Krakauer, 139). Krakauer survived that climb and managed to reach his destination which some may think was an act of bravery, but only because he survived. The inclusion of his experience is the use of ethos, he has personal experience which he uses to convince the audience that he is reliable and his opinion should be considered worthy. If the reader doesn’t think he was insane, why should they assume McCandless was. Krakauer can identify with McCandless, feels as if he knows him on a certain level and feels compelled to dispel the myths that McCandless was reckless. It is

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