Into The Wild By Jon Krakauer: Chapter Analysis

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Zoe Engel
Mr. Selfridge
Period: 2

Stepping Into the Wilderness
The work of nonfiction Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer, tells the true story of Chris McCandless, an adventurous young man, who leaves home to travel around the continent eventually setting foot into the Alaskan wilderness on a journey that becomes fatal. Highlighted throughout this work of nonfiction is the true story of McCandless’s life, along with bits of Krakauer’s personal life as it relates to McCandless’s. Each chapter begins with at least one epigraph that shares common themes with the following chapter. The focus in this paper will be on chapter 14, “The Stikine Ice Cap,” in which Krakauer shares his experience climbing the Devil’s Thumb in Alaska, and the second …show more content…

The idea of stepping off the grid and away from modern society to be in the wilderness was an idea that McCandless also shared with Krakauer and Thoreau. McCandless took this idea to an extreme degree, getting rid of his map so that he could live totally off the grid and apart from society. Although Thoreau shared this value he did not take this idea to the same level, instead he enjoyed smaller scale wilderness trips. In the epigraph, Thoreau states, “It can never become familiar, you are lost the moment you set out,” which shows his free-spiritedness that once he is out in the world he is lost in nature as he becomes detached from traditional societal life. Additionally in this chapter, as Krakauer shares his experience climbing the Devil Thumb he shares, “Those mountains heralded the approach of my desideratum (ITW 137).” This means that the mountains are about to give him the desire he is searching for by setting out into the Alaskan wilderness and temporarily separating him from society, an opportunity he took during the course of his life. All three of these men McCandless, Thoreau, and Krakauer shared this value in life, making this a suitable epigraph to include in this work of nonfiction, especially in this chapter for it ties many perspectives of the recurrent free-spirited

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