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Into The Wild Rhetorical Analysis

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Family, friends, and possessions pressure individuals through the imposition of values that contribute to identity; we are told that we obtain our qualities simply by inheritance and association. The environment one chooses to surround themselves reflects similar learned behaviors and thought processes. Deviating from the norm is often contemptible, but natural, according to author Jon Krakauer. Realizing that he did not want to become a carbon copy of his parents and environment, Christopher McCandless wandered the American West for two years, as a nomad, to reject society as he knows it―his family, friends, and possessions. He burns his money, abandons his car, and cuts all ties with his family on an identity crisis that would lead to his death in the inhospitable Alaskan tundra. These actions, taken alone, allows critics to characterize him as bizarre, irrational, and even suicidal. Furthermore, this characterization dissociates him from his own humanity, as the consensus was that McCandless must have been out of his right mind. To combat this impression, Jon Krakauer wrote Into the Wild to humanize McCandless in order to justify McCandless’s choices in spite of the fact that they lead to his death. Krakauer employs an asynchronous plot structure in order to humanize McCandless with the aim of justifying his death. Krakauer begins Into the Wild with the result of McCandless’s journey―his death. His body was unearthed on an abandoned bus with “virtually no subcutaneous
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