Into the Wild Essay

Into the Wild Essay - Ryan Curtis 3/2/2011 Essay Number 1...

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Ryan Curtis 3/2/2011 Essay Number 1 In Jon Krakauer’s novel Into the Wild the protagonist Chris McCandless leaves his middle class lifestyle to venture off into the wilderness. His lack of experience in the arctic conditions along with his hubristic attitude led him to his demise. Before Krakauer wrote this he wrote an article in the Alaskan local magazine, The Outside describing the events. The article brought a lot of negative feedback, the worst coming from Nick Jans. He says that McCandless is the, “’pale 20 th -century burlesque of London’s protagonist, who freezes because he ignores advice and commits big-time hubris’” (Jon Krakauer quoting Nick Jans, 72). Both of these characters had people giving them advice that was ignored, both had problems with dealing with reality, and both suffered the same fate. Krakauer saw Jans’ comparison as being very harsh but I believe Jans did come up with a very good point. They are one of the same. Chris McCandless’s 113 days in the wild were somewhat of a roller-coaster. At first he really has no idea how to live off the land; he had difficulty finding food and hunting. In fact “He didn’t [kill] anything…until May 9 th when he bagged a single small squirrel” days after he arrived (Krakauer, 164). Things started looking up when he found an abandoned bus which had a makeshift shelter already set up with little things such as matches and bug repellant. He gets used to his surroundings and for the next month or so lives off of squirrel, spruce grouse, duck, goose, and porcupine. He manages to kill a moose and using a technique he learned in South Dakota tries to preserve the meat. But the technique was not effective in these conditions and the meat goes bad. He ends up feeding the meat to the wolves which causes him pain since he killed an animal virtually for no reason. The time comes for him to head back to the road and live his life either back tramping or back into society. On his walk back he encounters a river that he is unable to cross. He is forced to turn around and head back to the bus since he doesn’t know how long the river is and where he would be able to cross. When he gets back to the bus he continues to do what he had been doing for the past few months until he started getting sick. Once he was sick it was only a matter of time until his fate came, death.
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2011 for the course ENGL 1106 at Virginia Tech.

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Into the Wild Essay - Ryan Curtis 3/2/2011 Essay Number 1...

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