INTO THE WILD BY JON KRAKAUER “In April 1992, a young man from a wellto-do East Coast family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked into the wilderness north of Mt. Mc. Kinley. Four months later his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters” (Author’s Note).
“It should not be denied…that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west. ” (Wallace Stegner, From: The American West as Living Space) "Colorado River. " Online Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2 June 2008 <http: //www. britannica. com/eb/art-2636>.
“I NOW WALK INTO THE WILD. ” (ALEX, 1992) Commons. wikimedia. org/wiki/Image: Mt_Mc. Kinley, _Denali_National_Park, jpg.
High Achiever: Academics, Athletics, Music Entrepreneurial Generous & Caring Cold & Unforgiving Impatient with others Self-absorbed Harsh judge of parents Tolerant of artists& close friends Passionate Self-righteous Intensely private Gregarious Socially conscious www. datsunhistory. com/DATPICS/b 210. jpg
“I am reborn. This is my dawn. Real Life has begun, ” (Alex, June 1992). “S. O. S. I need your help. I am injured, near death and too weak to hike out of here…. This is no joke…” (Chris Mc. Candless, August? )
Carthage, South Dakota
EXPLOITS Detrital Wash Salton City Colorado River -canoe trip California/Mexico Border Bullhead City Mc. Donald’s Las Vegas
ALASKA “I’ve decided to head for Alaska no later than May 1 st…: Mt. Mc. Kinley…”Climb Mountain!” I finally got here. ” (April 22, 1992) “ A babbling brook in spring, a rushing torrent in summer.
DENALI NATIONAL PARK & STAMPEDE TRAIL The Journey of Chris Mc. Candless Visionary or Fool? Honest or Selfish? Death Wish? Desire to confront and overcome fear of death?
CHRIS WAS INSPIRED BY: LEO TOLSTOY • “I THOREAU JACK LONDON wanted movement and not a calm course of existence, ” -Tolstoy • “It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life, ” -London • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth, ” Thoreau
CHRIS’S RELATIONSHIPS Family Grandfather: Lauren Johnson Father: Walt Mother: Billie Sister: Carine On the Road Jan Burres Wayne Westerberg Ron Franz Alaska Jim Gallien
CHRIS’S PHILOSOPHIES: “I BELIEVE THAT…” -Happiness is only real when shared -There is refuge in nature -Wealth is shameful, corrupting, and evil -Absolutes: Life, Truth, Beauty -Love of one’s Neighbor -Free personality -Life as Sacrifice
WHAT POISONED CHRIS? SWEET PEA VS. WILD POTATO
“ I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. . Goodbye and may God bless all. ” (August 1992)
PEOPLE CHRIS MET: Jim Gallien: Takes Chris to Denali National Park Butch Killian: EMT who arrives soon after Chris’s body is discovered Wayne: Closest version of family to Chris -works on a grain elevator for Wayne’s company in South Dakota Peter Kalitka: Private Detective hired to find Chris Gene Rosellini, John Waterman, Carl Mc. Cunn and Everett Reuss: Similar men who ventured into the wild Ron Franz: Takes in Chris when he moves to Anza-Borrego Ask Questions on any others…
METHODOLOGY Krakauer’s use of methodology in Into the Wild is an important focus of his biography. It is inevitably what makes him a “partial” biographer. Methodology: the methods of organizing principles underlying a particular art, science or other area of study. *Manuscripts *Maps *Interviews *Epigraphs
STRUCTURE: Krakauer starts the novel with the ending completely in mind. We know of Chris’ death by chapter two. The epigraph is detailing his trip into the Yukon Territory. Westerberg’s letter is introduced before he is. How is this effective story telling? Why are we given the letter before a literary quote?
MAPS: The maps are used to personalize the odyssey. Visual rendering of where he’s been. We see Chris’s plight and the trek he has made. Also see the absurdity of his journey: jumping from one place to the next.
LETTERS AND MANUSCRIPTS Personal connection to Chris. He seems very candid and real in the letters. Detection of his spite, anger and arrogance in the letters. Puts on a different face in front of strangers: benevolent, spirited, kind. The letters serve as his connection to the outside, evidence of his journey, and his bitter farewell to society.
INTERVIEWS Story becomes real when we meet people Chris has befriended. Provide personal account of his behavior. Allow us to question his motives. Aware of his inability to connect to humans. Krakauer’s main attempt at being impartial.
LITERARY ALLUSIONS Symbolize Chris’s God Religious connection for him. Their imagination becomes his reality. Inability to understand London, Tolstoy, Thoreau or Emerson, because he takes their ideas literally: or is this what he’s supposed to do?
TRANSCENDENTALISM Transcendentalism New ideas in literature, religion culture and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early to middle 19 th century. It is sometimes called American transcendentalism to distinguish it from other uses of the word. Transcendentalism began as a protest against the general state of culture and society and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian church. Among transcendentalists' core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions.
ATTRIBUTION ØUnless otherwise cited, the pictures are all from http: //images. google. com/images ØAll quotes are from: Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor Books, 1997. Constance D. Casserly, June 2, 2008