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Course Hero. "Into the Wild Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 19 Oct. 2017. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Into-the-Wild/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, November 28). Into the Wild Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved October 19, 2017, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Into-the-Wild/

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Course Hero. "Into the Wild Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed October 19, 2017. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Into-the-Wild/.

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Course Hero, "Into the Wild Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed October 19, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Into-the-Wild/.

Into the Wild | Epilogue | Summary

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Summary

In July 1993, 10 months after Sam McCandless brought Walt and Billie McCandless the tragic news that their son had died in a broken-down bus in the Alaska wilderness, Chris's parents fly to the Stampede Trail and Bus 142. Walt has spent time in Fairbanks working on "airborne radar system for search-and-rescue missions." Walt finds the idea of visiting the bus "difficult ... to come to terms with." Billie seems at peace.

They walk through the bus, touch their son's belongings, and read the messages he wrote on the walls. They make an effort to understand their son's experience. Before they leave, Walt and Billie erect a memorial to Chris—a plaque with the dates of his birth and death, along with a short epitaph. Below it they leave a bouquet of wildflowers. Under the bed, they slide a suitcase filled with food and medical supplies, other wilderness gear, and Chris's childhood Bible. They also enclose a note urging wilderness travelers to "call your parents as soon as possible."

Analysis

This chapter, written in the present tense, shows the ongoing aftereffects of McCandless's death on his parents and the depths of their grief. They attempt to see their son's experience of the Alaska from his perspective, but it's not easy. Although Walt remarks that Alaska "has a certain beauty," he also pronounces, "I have a lot of reasons for disliking Alaska, OK?" to Billie's remark that, "Chris must have loved it here." Walt and Billie never say if they found out why their son turned his back on them. Although "many people" have told Billie they "admire Chris for what he was trying to do," she feels only terrible loss. She says, "The fact that Chris is gone is a sharp hurt I feel every single day ... it's going to be hard every day for the rest of my life."

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